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Intel demos the next generation of Thunderbolt, tripling speeds

The next-gen of Thunderbolt will allow a bi-directional speed of 80 Gbps, uni-directional of up to 120 Gbps

Following the USB Implementer Forum’s release of USB4 v2 earlier this week, Intel has demonstrated a prototype of the thus-far unnamed next generation of Thunderbolt. Capable of 80 gigabits per second (Gbps) of bandwidth in each direction, the new generation will double bi-directional transfer rates compared to Thunderbolt 4.

Where things get really interesting, though, is when the prototype is used for displays, or other instances where bidirectional transfer is not needed. In such cases, the next-gen Thunderbolt will rearrange to allow up to 120 Gbps, triple the speed of Thunderbolt 4. This will allow up to 8K resolution at high frame rates.

“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,” said Jason Ziller, general manager of Intel’s Client Connectivity Division. “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.”

The new Thunderbolt, expected to launch sometime next year, will be backwards compatible with previous versions as well as existing passive cables.


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