Intel today shared more details about what we can expect from Thunderbolt 4 when it launches later this year. And while it won’t increase the maximum throughput speed of Thunderbolt 3’s 40Gbps, it’ll still have plenty going on.

The most obvious improvement will be the support for cables of up to two meters in length without them needing to be specialist active cables.

Docks will also now be able to have up to four Thunderbolt 4 ports with one upstream and three downstream connections.

The requirements for 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.

All Thunderbolt 4 ports and cables will be compatible with SUB4, Thunderbolt 3, and other USB standards which is probably a lot. Who knows at this point?

This is of course an Intel announcement but Apple will likely bring Thunderbolt 4 to its own computers in the future. There’s no word yet on whether Apple will be licensing Thunderbolt for use on its own Macs built on Apple silicon, however. If it does, expect Thunderbolt 4 to be present.

 

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