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Intel announces Thunderbolt 4 and Tiger Lake mobile chips

assistance-intel ipad iphoneIntel has taken advantage of CES to discuss a few very interesting subjects such as the Thunderbolt 4 and new generation mobile processors, the Intel Core "Tiger Lake". We could find them at the end of 2020 in our Macbooks.

The new Thunderbolt standard, a computer connection format designed by Intel since 2007, is underway and will be supported by its upcoming processors.

puce tiger lake core intel mobile 2020

Thunderbolt 4 and Tiger Lake at Intel in 2020

In several on-scene announcements at CES 2020, Intel commented on Thunderbolt 4, the expected sequel to Thunderbolt 3. Intel executive vice president Gregory Bryant has made public reference to Thunderbolt 4.

Mentioned as part of its announcements for the next "Tiger Lake" mobile processors, Thunderbolt 4 is strangely described as having four times the speed of "USB 3". Since the basic USB 3.0 has a maximum speed of 5 Gb / s, this seems to be an unlikely assertion, since Thunderbolt 2 already reaches 20 Gb / s, and Thunderbolt 3 peaks at 40 Gbit / s.

Intel is therefore more likely to reference USB 3.2 Gen 2×2, which is capable of up to 20 gigabits per second when using two channels. If this is the case, Thunderbolt 4 would have a speed of up to 80 Gb / s.

80 gigabits per second makes the most sense. Thunderbolt 3 uses four PCI-E 3.0 channels to achieve these speeds. In theory, Thunderbolt 4 would use four PCI-E 4.0 channels to achieve this higher speed.

More concrete specifications on Thunderbolt 4 should be available before the launch of the first "Tiger Lake" processors, which should be delivered in the course of 2020. However, it remains to be seen when Apple will introduce support for the latter in its Macs, the connectors obviously going with the new chips.

It remains to be seen whether Thunderbolt 4 will arrive on the market before USB 4. Finalized at the end of 2019, USB 4 offers a speed of up to 40 Gb / s, a power supply of up to 100 W and backward compatibility with previous USB standards, as well as with Thunderbolt 3 connections.

Regarding the Tiger Lake chips, Intel said:

Tiger Lake is designed to bring daring vision to life and led by Intel for mobile computing, with breakthroughs in every medium and experience that matters. With Optimizations Covering Processor, AI Accelerators, and Integrated Low-Level Graphics on New Intel Xe Graphics Architecture, Tiger Lake Will Deliver Double-Digit Performance Gains, Massive AI Performance Improvements, A Bouncy Standard in graphics performance and 4 times the throughput of USB 3 with the new Thunderbolt 4 integrated. Built on the Intel 10nm + process, the first Tiger Lake systems are expected to be delivered this year.