Intel Shares Details on Thunderbolt 4, Launching Later This Year

Intel today shared some new details on the upcoming launch of Thunderbolt 4, which is set debut later this year.


While Thunderbolt 4 won't deliver any increase over the maximum 40 Gb/s available on Thunderbolt 3, there are some notable improvements such as universal cables up to two meters long without needing to resort to active cables that omit support for slower USB standards as on Thunderbolt 3, the ability to support docks and other accessories with up to four Thunderbolt 4 ports (one upstream, three downstream), and more.

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.

Thunderbolt 4 ports and cables are fully backward and cross-compatible with USB4, Thunderbolt 3, and other USB standards, and it continues to use the USB-C physical connector design.

thunderbolt 4 accessories
Thunderbolt 4 will be coming first to Intel's upcoming Tiger Lake processors for notebooks, with separate 8000-series controller chips coming later this year.

Apple, of course, has just announced that it will be transitioning away from Intel processors to its own Apple Silicon chips across its Mac lineup over the next couple of years, and it remains to be seen how Apple will handle Thunderbolt support going forward. The A12Z-based Mac mini units Apple is distributing to developers to help them prepare their apps for the transition do not include any Thunderbolt 3 ports.

Popular Stories

iPhone 16 Pro Sizes Feature

iPhone 16 Series Is Just Two Months Away: Everything We Know

Monday July 15, 2024 4:44 am PDT by
Apple typically releases its new iPhone series around mid-September, which means we are about two months out from the launch of the iPhone 16. Like the iPhone 15 series, this year's lineup is expected to stick with four models – iPhone 16, iPhone 16 Plus, iPhone 16 Pro, and iPhone 16 Pro Max – although there are plenty of design differences and new features to take into account. To bring ...
macbook pro january

Best Buy's Black Friday in July Sale Takes Up to $700 Off M3 MacBook Pro for Members

Monday July 15, 2024 11:05 am PDT by
Best Buy's "Black Friday in July" sale is in full swing today, and in addition to a few iPad Air discounts we shared earlier, there are also some steep markdowns on the M3 MacBook Pro. You will need a My Best Buy Plus or Total membership in order to get some of these deals. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Best Buy. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small...
ipaos 18 image playground

Apple Releases First iOS 18 and iPadOS 18 Public Betas

Monday July 15, 2024 1:16 pm PDT by
Apple today provided the first betas of iOS 18 and iPadOS 18 to public beta testers, bringing the new software to the general public for the first time since the Worldwide Developers Conference in June. Apple has seeded three developer betas so far, and the first public beta includes the same content that's in the third developer beta. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. ...
maxresdefault

Apple's AirPods Pro 2 vs. Samsung's Galaxy Buds3 Pro

Saturday July 13, 2024 8:00 am PDT by
Samsung this week introduced its latest earbuds, the Galaxy Buds3 Pro, which look quite a bit like Apple's AirPods Pro 2. Given the similarities, we thought we'd compare Samsung's new earbuds to the AirPods Pro. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Design wise, you could potentially mistake Samsung's Galaxy Buds3 Pro for the AirPods Pro. The Buds3 Pro have the same...
Beyond iPhone 13 Better Blue Face ID Single Camera Hole

10 Reasons to Wait for Next Year's iPhone 17

Monday July 8, 2024 5:00 am PDT by
Apple's iPhone development roadmap runs several years into the future and the company is continually working with suppliers on several successive iPhone models simultaneously, which is why we sometimes get rumored feature leaks so far ahead of launch. The iPhone 17 series is no different – already we have some idea of what to expect from Apple's 2025 smartphone lineup. If you plan to skip...
Generic iOS 18 Feature Real Mock

Apple Seeds Revised Third Betas of iOS 18 and iPadOS 18 to Developers

Monday July 15, 2024 10:09 am PDT by
Apple today seeded updated third betas iOS 18 and iPadOS 18 to developers for testing purposes, with the software coming a week after Apple initially released the third betas. Registered developers are able to opt into the betas by opening up the Settings app, going to the Software Update section, tapping on the "Beta Updates" option, and toggling on the ‌iOS 18/iPadOS 18‌ Developer Beta ...

Top Rated Comments

Rychiar Avatar
53 months ago
I've still never used any kind of thunderbolt port... the dedicated accessories are too damn expensive anyways
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
boss.king Avatar
53 months ago
That was honestly a terrible video.

He highlighted the USB A port for mouse and keyboard support, then used wireless peripherals that might as well just have used bluetooth.

He mentioned "less cable clutter" while waving his hand over a maze of cables snaking over one another.

At no point does he contextualise the new TB4 specs with what we currently have on TB3 (I get that this is a tech preview, but who actually remembers TB specs off the top of their head?)
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
cmChimera Avatar
53 months ago

I thought we all just assumed that for Apple Silicon Mac’s they’d use USB 4 which is royalty free. Doesn’t need intel and backward compatible with thunderbolt 3 ect.
Thunderbolt is faster then usb4 now, according to Intel.

https://newsroom.intel.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/11/2020/07/thunderbolt4-comparison-chart.jpg

Attachment Image
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
idmean Avatar
53 months ago
A second port for a wireless mouse and keyboard???

The Windows world is amazing...
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
endlessike Avatar
53 months ago

Apple Silicon Macs won’t be compatible with eGPU, they said
who is they and where did they say this?
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
endlessike Avatar
53 months ago

I thought we all just assumed that for Apple Silicon Mac’s they’d use USB 4 which is royalty free. Doesn’t need intel and backward compatible with thunderbolt 3 ect.
I don’t assume that at all. Apple has been all-in on Thunderbolt, and it’s customers understand that branding. I think you are asking John Q Consumer to take a pretty big leap if they have to start worrying about peripheral compatibility and software compatibility in a single upgrade cycle.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)