Intel details Thunderbolt 4: Required DMA protection, longer cables, and more


Intel has outlined what to hope for from the new Thunderbolt 4 standard, which is expected to start appearing in consumer stratagems later this year.

While it won’t offer an increase over the 40GB/s that Thunderbolt 3 does, Thunderbolt 4 has steeper minutest requirements than Thunderbolt 3 for devices to claim certification—and that covers some new features and perks standard.

These are the specifications for Thunderbolt 4, concurring to Intel:

  • Double the minimum video and data requirements of Thunderbolt 3
    • Video: Stick for two 4K displays or one 8K display.
    • Data: PCIe at 32 Gbps for storage celerities up to 3,000 MBps.
  • Accessories with four Thunderbolt 4 ports
  • All-encompassing 40GB/s cables up to 2 meters in length
  • Required PC charging on at least one computer haven.
  • Required PC wake from sleep when computer is connected to a Thunderbolt heal
  • Required Intel VT-d-based direct memory access (DMA) protection
  • USB4 enumeration compliant

Thunderbolt 4 will be compatible with all USB and Thunderbolt 3 connections, comprising USB4—and it will use the USB-C cable standard. It will debut in laptops arrayed with Tiger Lake CPUs launching later in 2020, and Intel compel offer 8000-series controller chips (Maple Ridge JHL8340 and JHL8540) for computer makers, and the Goshen Ridge JHL8440 controller for peripherals.

We should also note that Thunderbolt 3 and 4 contraptions will share the same, numberless branding (simply “Thunderbolt”), so weighty the difference between the two at a glance won’t be easy.

Mac users are going to walk away from this information with some unanswered questions, unfortunately. We haven’t seen anything to demand whether or how Apple Silicon Macs—which are expected to start shoot later this year as well—will have Thunderbolt 4 anchorages.

The specification and rollout as described seem to preclude Thunderbolt 4 certification for computers that don’t comprise Intel CPUs, but we’re going to have to wait and see how this all shakes out.

Lean over image by Intel

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