A trip to various Intel research sites did not go as planned for Gregory Bryant, executive vice president and general manager of Intel’s Client Computing Group. The executive shared and then quickly deleted a photo that revealed that Thunderbolt 5 could support 80 Gbps connections, which is twice the bandwidth offered by Thunderbolt 4.
What did Intel accidentally reveal?
The tweet, which has since been removed and re-uploaded without the offending image, shows the text “80G PHY technology” and “USB 80G is intended to support the existing USB-C ecosystem.” The first line is the bandwidth increase mentioned above. The second line indicates that Intel aims to keep the USB-C connector with higher bandwidth.
This isn’t the first time we’ve heard that Thunderbolt 5 offers twice the bandwidth of its predecessor. Intel’s director of I / O strategy in the Customer Connectivity Division, Ben Hacker, told The Tom’s Hardware Show that double the bandwidth could be achieved.
There is also a third line of visible text that reads: “The PHY will be based on the novel PAM-3 modulation technology.” That’s where things get tricky, but if you’re interested in the details, Anandtech It has all the technical information, including graphs and tables.
But here’s what it means to you: it’s twice as fast. This is partly because PAM-3 can carry a 3-bit data signal, which is faster than traditional NRZ connections that carry a single bit.
When will we see Thunderbolt 5?
Unfortunately, we have no idea at this time. Intel is working on something here that they didn’t want made public, or the Tweet wouldn’t have been removed after it was posted. If Thunderbolt can support 80Gbps connections, then it could be a game changer in terms of bandwidth.
We’ll have to wait and see when Intel plans to roll out the new technology and if it will hit the numbers the company is currently targeting, but it all sounds fascinating.