laptops-pc

What is Thunderbolt and how is Intel’s Thunderbolt 4 different

For those who are still wrapping their heads around the term ‘Thunderbolt’, here’s a short explainer on what it means and what’s new in Intel’s Thunderbolt 4.

Intel thunderbolt 4
Intel thunderbolt 4 (Intel - Edited)

Chipmaker Intel recently came up with Thunderbolt 4, it is new standard for connectivity that aims to transfer video data while performing other tasks. If you have been tracking the monitor, PC industry or even the accessories market, you would’ve heard the term ‘Thunderbolt’ a lot. But for those who are still wrapping their heads around it, here’s a short explainer on what this tech actually means and what’s new in Intel’s Thunderbolt 4.

In the simplest of terms, Thunderbolt is a standard that supports high-resolution displays and can transfer data from the same port. This tech indeed cuts the needs for an extra cable that one would otherwise need to either transfer data or to connect to a larger display. It requires a cable that can access both DisplayPort and PCI Express for data transfer. In case you don’t know, a DisplayPort is an interface that aims to connect a video source to an external display. 

Also read: Nvidia valuation soars past Intel on graphics chip boom

And now, what is Intel’s new Thunderbolt 4 all about? It’s the new minimum standard that accessories and cables will require to get the Thunderbolt 4 certification. The new version supports the same data transfer speed as Thunderbolt 3, which is 40Gbps but can now support two 4K displays and PCI Express speeds of 32Gbps. The cables support Thunderbolt 4 can now be 2 metres in length as well.

The company adds that OEMs making ‘thin and light’ laptops that need less than 100W power to charge, will be required to have at least one port with Thunderbolt 4-based USB charging. And those laptops should wake up from sleep through a connected keyboard or a mouse via Thunderbolt dock. Intel has added that its upcoming 11th-gen mobile PC processors code-named Tiger-Lake, will be the first to feature Thunderbolt 4 standard. This means, you can expect the first wave of computers and accessories supporting Thunderbolt 4 later this year.