This month, the most recent versions of Thunderbolt and USB were revealed. Due to the fact that the new connection standards will quadruple their bandwidth over their immediate predecessors, both technologies share some capabilities. In the upcoming months, the specifications should be completed.
On Tuesday, Intel demonstrated the most recent iteration of its Thunderbolt connection technology. It was able to establish an 80Gbps connection, tripling the speed of the current Thunderbolt 4 standard from the same business, and achieving the same output as the previously unveiled USB4 Version 2.0.
Tom’s Hardware, who was covering Intel’s Technology Tour 2022, saw the demonstration at the Intel Development Center in Haifa, Israel. There, Intel displayed a live video of the USB-C to dual 40Gbps lane, 80Gbps link.
This month, the USB Promoter Group unveiled the confusingly called USB4 2.0 protocol, which some people might mistake for the two-decade-old USB 2.0. The most recent USB standard has a maximum bandwidth equal to that of the new Thunderbolt technology that Intel unveiled.
Both Thunderbolt 3 and USB4 Version 1.0 were likely based on Thunderbolt 3, which is why they both managed to achieve a 40Gbps bandwidth. Thunderbolt 4 improved security and display output to support dual 4K screens (DisplayPort 1.4) while maintaining the same bandwidth. It appears that Thunderbolt and USB4 are moving forward at the same time.
When Intel Client Computing Group GM Gregory M. Bryant tweeted and quickly removed images of the company’s Israel development laboratories last year, he unintentionally revealed Intel’s design objectives for the most recent Thunderbolt version. The pictures’ references to “80G PHY Technology” implied 80Gbps bandwidth, which Intel delivers using PAM-3 modulation (Pulse Amplitude Modulation 3-level).
Apart from Intel accomplishing the objective it leaked last year, this week’s presentation didn’t divulge anything else—not even the name of Thunderbolt 4’s replacement. It might be Thunderbolt 5, or it might be a brand-new Thunderbolt 4 subvariant. Intel also didn’t mention a potential release date for the new standard.
In the meantime, DisplayPort 2.0, PCIe 5.0, and USB4 2.0 will all be backward-compatible with each other and with their predecessors. The USB Developer Days event in November will probably see its final standard published before that time. It’s likely that USB4 2.0-capable devices won’t be available until 2023.
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