Thunderbolt 5 was unveiled on Tuesday (September 12) as the next generation of external connectors Intel. The new technology can transfer data at 80 Gbps to meet the demands of content creators and gamers, and is promised to deliver up to 120 Gbps of bandwidth, three times more than the three-year-old Thunderbolt 4. Built on USB4 v2, Thunderbolt 5 will be compatible with previous versions of Thunderbolt and USB. Computers and accessories based on the new Thunderbolt 5 controller will not debut until 2024.
Intel announced Thunderbolt 5 – the next generation of Thunderbolt – with significant benefits in connection speed and bandwidth. As mentioned, it will deliver 80 Gbps bi-directional data speeds. In the Bandwidth Boost mode, it is said to transmit data up to 120 Gbps speed. This would allow content creators and gamers to connect up to two 8K displays on monitors. These improvements will mark up to three times improved bandwidth over Thunderbolt 4. Thunderbolt 4 it officially went back in 2020 supports up to 40 Gbps speeds.
As expected from leaks and rumors, Thunderbolt 5 incorporates the USB4 v2 specifications. It is compatible with previous versions of Thunderbolt and USB. It claims to double PCI Express data throughput for faster storage and external graphics.
Intel has applied a new PAM-3 (3-level Pulse Amplitude Modulation) signal technology to Thunderbolt 5 to increase speed. Thunderbolt 5 supports the DisplayPort 2.1 and PCI Express Gen 4 standards. It is also fully backward compatible. It is said to double the bandwidth of Thunderbolt Networking for high-speed PC to PC connections.
“Thunderbolt 5 will provide industry-leading performance and capacity to connect computers to displays, docks, storage and more. Intel is excited to continue our tradition of leadership in wired connectivity solutions,” said Jason Ziller, general manager of the Client Connectivity Division at Intel. “Thunderbolt is now the mainstream port for connectivity on mobile PCs and delivers the next generation of performance with Thunderbolt 5 will provide even more capacity for the most demanding users”, he added.
Computers and accessories such as docks, monitors and storage drives based on Intel’s Thunderbolt 5 controller are expected to be available from next year.