Intel confirms Thunderbolt 4: Here’s what we know

Brittany A. Roston - Jan 7, 2020, 2:14 pm CST
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Intel confirms Thunderbolt 4: Here’s what we know

As with its competitor AMD, hardware company Intel held a keynote event at CES 2020 yesterday. During its show, Intel talked about the systems that store, process, and move data and the wider technologies that will help facilitate this, including 5G networks and artificial intelligence. In addition to showing off its video technology, Project Athena, and more, the company slipped in an interesting mention: Thunderbolt 4.

At this point in time, Thunderbolt 3 is the latest version of this technology; it replaced the previous Thunderbolt 2, of course. Thunderbolt 3 is the most advanced port right now; it uses the USB-C connector and is identified by a lightning bolt. Thunderbolt 3 features 40Gb/s speeds and can be used to connect displays in addition to USB devices.

During its keynote, Intel had a brief animation teasing the existence of Thunderbolt 4, revealing that it will be four times faster than UBS 3.2 Gen 2 (formerly known as USB 3.1 due to the confusing naming conventions used), which is the name that refers to the 10 Gbps speed.

That would mean Thunderbolt 4 will bring the same 40 Gbps speed as the current Thunderbolt 3. Unfortunately, and though it was the one to bring up the topic, Intel isn’t willing to share any additional details about Thunderbolt 4 at this time, leaving consumers to speculate about what is planned.

We do know Thunderbolt 4 will make its debut alongside Intel’s new Tiger Lake mobile processors. Consumers can expect to get access to Thunderbolt 4 via a new device that will be released later this year, but no details on that product were provided.


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