Thunderbolt 5 was announced on Tuesday (September 12) as Intel’s next-generation external connector. The new technology can transfer data at 80Gbps speeds to meet the needs of content creators and gamers, and promises up to 120Gbps of bandwidth, three times that of three-year-old Thunderbolt 4. Thunderbolt 5 built on USB4 v2 will be compatible with previous versions of Thunderbolt and USB. Computers and accessories based on the new Thunderbolt 5 controller won’t debut until 2024.

Intel Announce Thunderbolt 5 — the next generation of Thunderbolt — offers significant connection speed and bandwidth advantages. As mentioned, it will offer bi-directional data speeds of 80Gbps. In Bandwidth Boost mode, it is said to transfer data at speeds up to 120Gbps. This will allow content creators and gamers to connect up to two 8K displays in a monitor. These improvements will increase bandwidth by three times over Thunderbolt 4. Thunderbolt 4, officially launched in 2020, supports speeds up to 40Gbps.

As expected from leaks and rumors, Thunderbolt 5 incorporates the USB4 v2 specification. It is compatible with previous versions of Thunderbolt and USB. It is claimed to double PCI Express data throughput for faster storage and external graphics.

Intel has applied new PAM-3 (pulse amplitude modulation three-level) signaling technology to Thunderbolt 5 to increase speeds. Thunderbolt 5 supports DisplayPort 2.1 and PCI Express Gen 4 standards. It is also fully compatible with previous versions. It is claimed to double the bandwidth of Thunderbolt Networking for high-speed PC-to-PC connections.

“Thunderbolt 5 will deliver industry-leading performance and features for connecting computers to displays, docking stations, storage and more. Intel is excited to continue our legacy of leadership in wired connectivity solutions.” Intel Client Connect Division General Manager Jason Ziller said. “Thunderbolt is now the dominant port for mobile PC connectivity, and with Thunderbolt 5 it will provide even more functionality for the most demanding users,” he added.

Computers and accessories such as docking stations, monitors, and storage drives based on Intel’s Thunderbolt 5 controller are expected to begin shipping next year.


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