Intel had formally introduced Thunderbolt Four at CES 2020 when it mentioned that the brand new interconnectivity same old could be supported via Intel’s upcoming Tiger Lake platform. However, lots of the specs round Thunderbolt Four had been shrouded in thriller till nowadays’s announcement. We now know that Thunderbolt Four is not any quicker than Thunderbolt 3, which had a bandwidth of 40 Gbps, somewhat it raises the naked minimal necessities for certification, expands the characteristic set and provides compliance with the USB4 specification since Thunderbolt Four will use the USB Type-C connector. Also introduced nowadays are the brand new 8000 collection of Thunderbolt Four connectors that will likely be to be had later this yr. The new controllers come with the JHL8540and JHL8340 host controllers for pc makers, and the JHL8440 tool controller for accent makers.
“Thunderbolt supplies shoppers with a leadingconnectivity same old throughout a variety of gadgets,serving to to advance computing experiencesanddelivering at the promise of USB-C withsimplicity,performanceandreliability. The arrival of Thunderbolt4underscoreshow Intel is advancingthe PC ecosystem towards actually common connectivitysolutions.”–Jason Ziller, Intel normal managerof theClient Connectivity Division
Thunderbolt 4 Feature Set
As mentioned up to now, Thunderbolt Four is a ramification of the present Thunderbolt Three protocol with the intent on increasing its characteristic set. Thunderbolt Four will nonetheless give you the similar 40 Gbps bandwidth as Thunderbolt Three over a unmarried connection whilst the use of the USB Type-C connector. It now has compliance with USB4 while Thunderbolt Three was once simply suitable with USB 4.
The distinction is that within the latter case, one would perform the the least commonplace denominator while with complete compliance, Thunderbolt Four offers you the correct rated enjoy. Thunderbolt cables can now be as much as 2 meters in period and calls for fortify for 2 4K shows (or one 8K show) and will have to be rated for PCIe 32 Gb/s to go the certification assessments. TB4 will permit fortify for docks with as much as 4 Thunderbolt Four ports.
Exclusive to Intel platforms because of VT-d
A vital requirement for Thunderbolt Four certification is Intel VT-d based totally DMA coverage. From a safety viewpoint, that is geared against serving to save you bodily DMA assaults. However, it will have to be famous that VT-d is an Intel unique era that permits visitor programs to at once get right of entry to a PCI tool. AMD makes use of AMD-V for the same impact however the two are distinct. This requirement would successfully make Thunderbolt Four unique to Intel processors simplest. This is a type of dealer lock-in this is frowned upon within the business however a commonplace apply however. We’ve reached out to Intel for additional readability at the similar.
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