The “Next Generation of Thunderbolt” Sounds a Lot Like USB4
The Thunderbolt connector has been a life-changer ever since it began to popularize. USB4 made Thunderbolt essential to the specification, as Intel donated the Thunderbolt 3 standard to the USB-IF. Intel has kept developing it, though, and it has now teased the next generation of the standard.
Intel showed off a preview of the “next generation of Thunderbolt,” which doesn’t have a name yet — it could launch as Thunderbolt 5, as a minor sub-version of Thunderbolt 4, or go with another name entirely. The company says the future spec will be three times as capable as Thunderbolt 4 currently is.
Looking at the specs, the new Thunderbolt will be able to transfer up to 80 Gbps both ways. It will also support DisplayPort 2.1, faster PCI Express throughput, and it will come with a special mode that lets you transfer 120Gbps up and 40Gbps down. It will also be compatible with existing Thunderbolt 4 cables.
All of that is present in the latest USB4 version 2.0 spec, which was already known to be twice as fast as Thunderbolt 4, so…
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