Intel Intros Next-Gen Thunderbolt, Meets DisplayPort 2.1 & USB4 v2 Specifications

Jason R. Wilson
Intel Intros Next-Gen Thunderbolt, Meets DisplayPort 2.1 & USB4 v2 Specifications 1
Image source: J. Wilson, Wccftech.

Intel has introduced its next-generation Thunderbolt technology that conforms to the DisplayPort 2.1 and USB4 v2 specifications.

Intel unveils new Thunderbolt prototype to enhance the current technology and continue to evolve to meet new display standards and certifications

Introducing faster Thunderbolt connections will supply the demand from power users, streamers, content creators, and gamers searching for the best displays and enhanced immersion, offering low latency images and video and an increasingly higher resolution. Another improvement of the technology is access to faster-transmitted data and larger file sizes. Some of the highlighted & new features include:

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  • Two times the total bandwidth of Thunderbolt 4 to 80 Gbps, while providing up to three times the bandwidth of 120 Gbps for video-intensive usages.
  • Support for the newly released DisplayPort 2.1 for the best display experience.
  • Two times the PCI Express data throughput for faster storage and external graphics.
  • Works with existing passive cables up to 1m via a new signaling technology.
  • Compatible with previous versions of Thunderbolt, USB, and DisplayPort.
  • Supported by Intel’s enabling and certification programs.

However, the bandwidth is not unidirectional but bi-directional, which opens up to 120Gbps to provide the best viewing experience on display. This new bi-directional bandwidth technology will perform three times better than previous generations.

Intel showcases the bi-directional bandwidth capabilities of the new Thunderbolt. Image source: Intel.

Intel has always been the industry pioneer and leader for wired connectivity solutions, and Thunderbolt is now the mainstream port on mobile PCs and integrated into three generations of Intel mobile CPUs. We’re very excited to lead the industry forward with the next generation of Thunderbolt built on the USB4 v2 specification, advanced to this next generation by Intel and other USB Promoter Group members.

Jason Ziller, general manager of the Client Connectivity Division, Intel

Intel card showing that previous versions of Thunderbolt and current versions will maintain the same, easy-to-distinguish logo and continued USB4 support. Image source: Intel.
Intel is showcasing the upgrade to data deliverance with the new bi-directional bandwidth technology. Image source: Intel.

The new Thunderbolt will offer increased PCIe data throughput — up to two times faster — to increase the efficiency of storage and graphics from external sources. The prototype is also shown to be capable of compatibility with previous versions of Thunderbolt, DisplayPort, and USB. Thunderbolt will also continue to work with existing passive cables (up to one meter) through a new signaling technology developed by Intel. The new technology will also support the enablement and certification of Intel's programs.

Intel's demonstration of real-world usage with Thunderbolt. Image source:
Intel's continued support of advancing data throughput with Thunderbolt.

The company has continued to work closely with several of its partners, from cable, PC, and accessory companies, to enhance the new Thunderbolt technology, which was the basis for the USB4 standards currently set.

News Source: Intel Newsroom

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