Intel today announced the Thunderbolt 4, the next generation of its universal cable connectivity solution. The good news is that Thunderbolt 4 is compatible with the existing Thunderbolt 3 PCs and accessories. Thunderbolt 4 developer kits and certification testing are now available for PC OEMs and accessory makers.
The new Thunderbolt 4 comes with increased minimum performance requirements, expanded capabilities and USB4 specification compliance. Intel mentioned that Thunderbolt 4 will offer docks with up to four Thunderbolt ports and universal cables up to 2 meters in length. Intel’s “Tiger Lake” processors will be the first to integrate Thunderbolt 4.
Thunderbolt 4 certification requirements include:
- Double the minimum video and data requirements of Thunderbolt 3.
- Video: Support for two 4K displays or one 8K display.
- Data: PCIe at 32 Gbps for storage speeds up to 3,000 MBps.
- Support for docks with up to four Thunderbolt 4 ports.
- PC charging on at least one computer port.
- Wake your computer from sleep by touching the keyboard or mouse when connected to a Thunderbolt dock.
- Required Intel VT-d-based direct memory access (DMA) protection that helps prevent physical DMA attacks.
Windows PCs and accessories with the new Thunderbolt 4 ports are expected to be available this year.