Intel announces Thunderbolt 4 connectivity and Apple will be eligible

Thunderbolt 4 connectivity is coming this fall on PCs and Macs, and, thanks to a controller, Apple will be able to integrate it on its computers even if it turns its back on Intel. This is the promise of a universal connector for video, data transfer and charging.

It is the dream of all users of PC desktop and mobile: the creation of a universal connector that would work with all types of devices, be it a monitor, a hard drive or of a smartphone , and  icing on the cake, charging. This is the ambition of the Thunderbolt 4 for which Intel has unveiled the specifications.

This evolution of Thunderbolt  3, which is found on Macs, takes up the design of the USB-C with this oval socket which has become generalized, and the specifics of the USB4, itself inspired by … Thunderbolt 3!

Clearly, the Thunderbolt 4 is  improved USB4 with the same transfer speed of 40 Gbit / s, to which Intel adds support for two 4K screens (or an 8K screen for professionals), the compatibility with PCI Express 32 Gb / s, charging ( USB Power Delivery ) or the protection against access to computer memory.

Apple, loyal to Thunderbolt

All this is very promising, and it will be directly integrated into the “ Tiger Lake  ” platform  that will equip the next generation of laptops expected for this fall . Equally promising are the docking stations with up to four Thunderbolt ports and universal cables up to 2 meters in length. All with a controller compatible with Thunderbolt 3 PCs and accessories already available.

The only question relates to the presence on Apple computers since the brand will abandon Intel for Arm. At  The Verge , the maker of Macbooks recalls that he has always supported Intel ”  to design and develop Thunderbolt, and today our customers appreciate the speed and flexibility it brings to each Mac.” We remain attached to the future of Thunderbolt and will integrate it on Mac with Apple Silicon . This integration will therefore be possible  via a controller, even if Apple turns its back on Intel.