We're here at the Intel Development Center (IDC) in Haifa, Israel, for the second day of the company's Technology Tour 2022, where the company is sharing new information about its latest products. Today the company showed a live video of the first test system to run with an 80 Gbps Thunderbolt connection, but it stopped short of naming the new interface.,
Intel didn't share many details, but the demo consisted of dual Thunderbolt lanes, with each running at 40 Gbps (for a total of 80 Gbps). That's twice the performance of Thunderbolt 4, which tops out at 40 Gbps in aggregate.
The 80 Gbps connection ran across a USB-C cable. Intel didn't announce a name for the faster interface or mention when it will come to market. For now, all we know is that it will double the speed of the existing Thunderbolt 4 connection.
Thunderbolt 4 currently leverages the USB 4 version 1.0 specification, and the new version of Thunderbolt employs the increased throughput of the USB 4 version 2.0 spec announced earlier this month.
Intel tells us that it hasn't committed to a naming scheme for the 80 Gbps Thunderbolt interface yet. Given the USB 4 'version 2.0' branding scheme, it's possible that Intel could brand this as Thunderbolt 4 version 2 or use some other type of designation for an incremental update. Intel could also name it Thunderbolt 5, but that feels unlikely.
Intel's IDC in Haifa is responsible for all things Thunderbolt and USB at Intel, as shown in the above slide. That remit includes product definition, hardware, software design and validation, high volume manufacturing (HVM), and productization. The group also supports the ecosystem and runs nine facilities worldwide that test and certify Thunderbolt products.
For more info on USB 4 and Thunderbolt 4, head to our USB 4: Everything We Know article.
Don't give into the bad naming scheme that breaks historical naming precedence madness.
It should be called "Thunderbolt 5"
Don't add in HDMI's non-sense on top!
I would think most motherboard MFGs would just implement the USB config across all brands of CPUs. So is Intel just wasting R&D money to stay relevant in this interface?
While USB may be good enough for most everyday use, Thunderbolt is basically external PCIe with much lower overhead than USB, which is kind of important for high-performance stuff like external GPUs.
IMO, Thunderbolt is what we should have had with type-C instead of USB3.