Intel announces next-gen Thunderbolt 4, will debut with Tiger Lake CPUs later this year

Thunderbolt 4 will continue to deliver the same 40 Gb/s speeds as the previous generation connector

Highlights
  • Intel reveals details about Thunderbolt 4
  • The next-gen universal connector will always deliver 40 Gb/s speeds and data, video and power over a single connection
  • First computers with Thunderbolt 4 ports are expected to be available later this year

Intel has revealed new details about Thunderbolt 4, the next generation external connector that will make its debut with PCs powered by Tiger Lake CPUs. Intel first mentioned Thunderbolt 4 back in January at CES where it showed off its Tiger Lake mobile processors. Now, the company has provided more details about the upcoming Thunderbolt 4, which will succeed Thunderbolt 3 in offering a universal connectivity experience.

Thunderbolt 4 will continue to deliver the same 40 Gb/s speeds as the previous generation standard. It will be compliant with USB4 and intel says it will also adds that Thunderbolt 4 docks will offer up to four Thunderbolt ports for the first time. Intel has also announced the Thunderbolt 4 controller 8000 series, which is compatible with millions of Thunderbolt 3 PCs and accessories that are already available. 

“We expect Thunderbolt 4 products to be an inflection point for accessory makers who depend on PCs and Macs to offer an industry-leading set of product capabilities for a consistent user experience,” said Ben Thacker, vice president and general manager at Kensington. “The advancements in Thunderbolt 4 will help Kensington redefine the modern workspace of the future.”

Not only is Thunderbolt 4 compliant with USB4, but it also supports DisplayPort and PCI Express (PCIe) as well as previous generation Thunderbolts and USB products. The new Thunderbolt 4 standard requires double the minimum video and data requirements of Thunderbolt 3, which means it requires support for two 4K displays or one 8K display and a minimum data transfer speed of 32 Gbps for PCIe and up to 3,000Mbps storage transfer speeds. Intel says the first computers and accessories with Thunderbolt 4 ports are expected to be available later this year.