Intel Introduces Thunderbolt 5 Connectivity Standard

Intel Introduces Thunderbolt 5 Connectivity Standard

Intel announced Thunderbolt 5, the next generation of Thunderbolt, and demonstrated a prototype laptop and dock. Thunderbolt 5 promises to deliver significant improvements in connectivity speed and bandwidth benefits for computer users.

“Thunderbolt 5 will provide industry-leading performance and capability for connecting computers to monitors, docks, storage, and more. Intel is excited to continue our tradition of leadership for wired connectivity solutions. Thunderbolt is now the mainstream port for connectivity on mobile PCs, and delivering the next generation of performance with Thunderbolt 5 will provide even more capability for the most demanding users,” said Jason Ziller, general manager of the Client Connectivity Division at Intel.

Thunderbolt 5 will deliver 80 gigabits per second (Gbps) of bi-directional bandwidth, and with Bandwidth Boost it will provide up to 120 Gbps for the best display experience. These improvements will provide up to three times more bandwidth than the best-existing connectivity solution, providing outstanding display and data connections. Thunderbolt 5 will meet the high bandwidth needs of content creators and gamers. Built on industry standards – including USB4 V2 – Thunderbolt 5 will be broadly compatible with previous versions of Thunderbolt and USB.

Image by Intel

Thunderbolt 5 builds upon Thunderbolt 4 in several ways. That includes two times the total bi-directional bandwidth; Bandwidth Boost provides up to three times the throughput for video-intensive usage, up to 120 Gbps, and double the PCI Express data throughput for faster storage and external graphics. It is built on industry standards including USB4 V2, DisplayPort 2.1, and PCI Express Gen 4; fully compatible with previous versions, and will double the bandwidth of Thunderbolt Networking for high-speed PC-to-PC connections. It also utilizes a new signaling technology, PAM-3, to deliver these significant increases in performance with today’s printed circuit boards, connectors, and passive cables up to 1 meter.

Thunderbolt products have become mainstream in the PC marketplace, with leading PC accessory vendors worldwide adopting the standard to reach hundreds of millions of PC users active today. Thunderbolt 5 will build on this extensive base and continue to deliver on the vision of one USB-C port and cable that can do it all – simplifying the PC experience for users around the globe while still providing the highest quality and performance possible. Computers and accessories based on Intel's Thunderbolt 5 controller, code-named Barlow Ridge, are expected to be available starting in 2024.