Some news from the PC hardware landscape. And this one is about the new Thunderbolt 4 connectivity standard that Intel has just officially announced today.
You may recall that company actually let go of Thunderbolt 3 not too long ago.
And while Thunderbolt 4 is not wildly different from its predecessor, it does increase the minimum specs. If anything, it enforces it. There is no shortage of devices that used Thunderbolt 3, but only at half the bandwidth. Even expensive ultrabooks were guilty of this.
OEMs will not be able to do that anymore.
So, Thunderbolt 4 is not faster than Thunderbolt 3, but it’s definitely better.
There are a bunch of other ways that Thunderbolt 4 stirs things around, apart from the minimum specifications of 40Gbps speed and support for dual 4K displays. It now supports cables that are up to two meters in length, and you can also connect them to an 8K display.
Docks, meanwhile, can now have up to 4 Thunderbolt 4 ports, and when a mouse or keyboard is connected to the dock, you can click to wake your PC from sleep.
Despite these improvements, Intel is not changing up its Thunderbolt branding, as can be seen from the image above. Meaning, you will not be able to tell by looking at a port whether it supports Thunderbolt 4, which of course, still uses the universal USB Type-C standard.
As for when you will be able to buy a Thunderbolt 4 PC, expect new hardware sporting it to land on store shelves later this year.
Intel will be integrating the technology into its 11th generation Tiger Lake chips.