After getting some info leaked a few hours ago, Intel officially introduced the next-generation version of its Thunderbolt data transfer and display standard. The new Thunderbolt 5 technology promises to offer a massive boost in speeds and capacity compared to the current Thunderbolt 4 standard.
Intel's official announcement offers up some info that was not found in the earlier leaks. The company claims that Thunderbolt 5 will be able to power "multiple 8K monitors" for content creators. and also handle monitors with refresh rates of up to 540Hz for high-end gaming. Finally, the company says that it can power three 4K displays with refresh rates of up to 144Hz
For people who want to use the new technology to connect external devices, Intel says that it will offer twice the bandwidth, compared to the current Thunderbolt 4 standards, for products like external SSDs and for external GPUs as well. That could lead to more notebooks getting access to the latest desktop graphics cards.
Speaking of notebooks, Intel says it will allow for many laptops to just have one cable that can handle both charging and display capabilities, eliminating the need for a second cable.
As with the leaked info, Intel says that normal bi-directionals data speeds for the Thunderbolt 5 will be 80Gbps, but that it can handle omni-direction bandwidth speeds of up to 120Gbps for the best video display support.
Some of the other info Intel revealed about Thunderbolt 5 includes:
- Double the PCI Express data throughput for faster storage and external graphics.
- Built on industry standards including USB4 V2, DisplayPort 2.1 and PCI Express Gen 4; fully compatible with previous versions.
- Double the bandwidth of Thunderbolt Networking for high-speed PC-to-PC connections.
- Utilizes a new signaling technology, PAM-3, to deliver these significant increases in performance with today’s printed circuit boards, connectors and passive cables up to 1 meter.
The announcement even included a statement from a Microsoft executive:
“Microsoft is excited to closely collaborate with Intel to bring the latest USB4 standard to Windows customers," said Ian LeGrow, corporate vice president of Core OS product management at Microsoft Corp. "Thunderbolt 5 is fully USB 80Gbps standard compliant to support the next generation of high-performance displays, storage and connectivity.”
The first PCs with Thunderbolt 5 are expected to start shipping sometime in 2024, according to Intel.