Intel has officially announced Thunderbolt 5, the latest version of the high-speed hardware interface developed in collaboration with Apple. This new standard promises to bring significant improvements over its predecessor, Thunderbolt 4. Among the most significant innovations:
Increased speed. Thunderbolt 5 offers a total bandwidth of up to 120 Gbps, a significant jump from the 40 Gbps offered by Thunderbolt 3 and 4. This is made possible by the use of Bandwidth Boost technology. The default configuration provides a two-way connection at 80 Gbps, but it can be flexibly configured to 120 Gbps for high-resolution displays or multiple screens.
More powerful charging. One of the features is support for charging up to 240W, which could potentially eliminate the need for separate charging cables for gaming laptops.
Compatibility. The new standard increases the minimum PCIe data transfer rate to 32 Gbps and is compatible with DisplayPort 2.1, USB v4, USB 3 20G, and PCIe Gen4. This means that Thunderbolt 5 will provide more bandwidth potential for external graphics chips, especially when systems are equipped with PCIe-compliant lines running at 64 Gbps.
Laptops based on the Meteor Lake architecture may be among the first systems to feature Thunderbolt 5. It is expected that the first systems with this technology will appear in 2024.