Intel plans to launch the first computers and devices with Thunderbolt 4 ports later this year, including laptops based on the company's codenamed "Project Athena" system.
Intel has outlined the next version of its cable communication solution, Thunderbolt 4, which is completely compliant with its predecessor Thunderbolt 3 and uses USB Type-C connectors. Intel had in January earlier this year at CES 2020 in Las Vegas announced the Thunderbolt 4. The first to incorporate Thunderbolt 4 technology would be Intel’s Tiger Lake handheld PC processors. It has also introduced the Thunderbolt 4 8000 series controller to add the latest experience to numerous Thunderbolt 3 PCs and accessories already available on the market.
With the launch of Thunderbolt 4, Intel aims to extend its goal of providing a universal cable communication solution that it originally developed with the Thunderbolt 3 hardware interface released at the end of 2015. The new interface can be used over a single connection for both data transfer and power delivery. This is also in compliance with USB 4, DisplayPort, and PCI Express (PCIe) standards.
Intel has claimed that Thunderbolt 4 will support data transfer at the rate of 40Gbps which is compatible with what you get on the Thunderbolt 3 gui. The new interface’s underlying protocol specification is compatible with USB 4, too. However, Intel has received enhancements including two 4K monitor access, 32Gbps PCIe support, and up to four ports capability for docks. Intel VT-d-based direct memory access (DMA) protection is also necessary for the new interface to help prevent physical DMA attacks on computers. It also makes it mandatory for PC manufacturers to allow charging support on the device that needs less than 100 watts to charge on at least one Thunderbolt 4 port.
Intel plans to launch the first computers and devices with Thunderbolt 4 ports later this year, including laptops based on the company’s codenamed “Project Athena” system. Additionally, Intel also revealed the Thunderbolt 4 8000 series controller which will include JHL8540 and JHL8340 host controllers for PC manufacturers and JHL8440 interface controller for adapter manufacturers. The new controllers will become commercially available later this year.