The interface standard Thunderbolt has now been officially specified in version 4. However, the developers at Intel did not simply take part in the bandwidth race, but above all worked on the feature bandwidth.
Like Thunderbolt 3, the new version will provide transmission rates of up to 40 gigabits per second. However, it gets faster when PCIe devices are addressed via Thunderbolt. Then the bandwidth doubles from 16 to 32 gigabits per second. The use of the USB 3.2 protocol via the interface continues to bring 10 gigabits per second.
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With Thunderbolt 3, the manufacturers only had to guarantee that a 4K display could be controlled. Now there will be two – or an 8K monitor. In addition, users also get more security when it comes to whether their notebook can now be loaded via the interface. So far this has sometimes been uncertain. But if you buy a device with Thunderbolt 4 ports, you can be sure that at least one of them can also be used as an interface for the power supply.
The manufacturers of docking stations must also ensure that the connected computer wakes up from the idle state via the transmitted signals if the user takes action with a connected keyboard or mouse. In addition, the specifications stipulate that an Intel VT-d-based DMA protection is integrated. This is intended to provide security against physical DMA attacks.
As Intel further announced, Thunderbolt 4 should be available on time for the launch of Tiger Lake U. Ultrabooks with the new Intel CPUs can, therefore, bring the interface directly. Components for other systems and accessories are also expected to be delivered later this year.