Thunderbolt 5: Intel leaks the new USB-C standard with 80 Gbit/s


While the maximum data rate of Intel’s Thunderbolt technology has not improved for years, the fifth generation is supposed to provide an increase in speed. A leak reveals that Thunderbolt 5 could operate at up to 80 Gbit/s on a USB-C basis.

Executive Vice President and General Manager of the Client Computing Group, Gregory M. Bryant, used a tour of Intel’s Israeli research lab to share impressions of his trip with his followers via Twitter. But the social media experience backfired, because Bryant published the first details about the new Thunderbolt 5 standard, whose optimized USB-C technology is likely to be called “80G PHY” internally.

Out of the shadows with double bandwidth?

The photo with first information about the Thunderbolt 4 successor, which was deleted shortly after, was picked up by Anandtech and proves that Intel plans to double the bandwidth from a previously common maximum of 40 Gbps to 80 Gbps. The description of the new technology also reveals that the company will still stick to the contemporary USB-C port and that the so-called pulse amplitude modulation PAM-3 will be used. Suitable chips could be manufactured by the contract manufacturer TSMC in the 6nm process (N6).

So far, it has not been determined when a presentation of the Thunderbolt 5 technology is to be expected. There were five years between the presentation of Thunderbolt 3 and Thunderbolt 4, which both work with a maximum data rate of 40 Gbit/s. The latter was only announced in January 2020. The latter was only announced in January 2020 and also serves as the basis of the current USB4 standard, among other things. Intel is currently trying to make its USB alternative available to a much broader mass in order to let it step out of its shadowy existence. A direct integration into the Tiger Lake processors is supposed to help.


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