The often confusing world of computer connectivity is now a two-horse race, Thunderbolt 4 and USB4, with Thunderbolt being more popular among them.
This is because Thunderbolt 4 is based on the upcoming USB4 standard and is backward compatible with previous generations of Thunderbolt and USB products. You can also know more about how effective Thunderbolt 4 is by navigating online.
What is Thunderbolt?
Thunderbolt is a connectivity protocol that supports fast data transfer, high-resolution video, and charging all at the same time. While previous generations of the Thunderbolt standard used a Mini DisplayPort connector, Thunderbolt 3 and Thunderbolt 4 use the more capable USB-C connector.
What is Thunderbolt 4?
Considered by Intel as a universal connectivity experience, Thunderbolt 4 (TB4) is a "superset standard" incorporating USB4, DisplayPort, and PCI Express (PCIe). In terms of performance, Thunderbolt 4 is not that different from its predecessor.
The big difference is that manufacturers of laptops, peripherals, and cables must adhere to more stringent standards for Thunderbolt 4 certification, so buyers can rest assured that, at a minimum, they will get the following features:
- 40 Gb / s data transfer rate over cables up to 2 meters (6.5 feet) in length
- 32 Gb / s PCIe data transfer (twice that of Thunderbolt 3)
- Support for two 4K displays (or one 8K display)
- At least one port that supports charging from a 100W laptop
- Waking up from sleep support
Thunderbolt 4 support for USB4 promises to bring order to the fragmented world of USB cables and devices. A Thunderbolt 4 compatible laptop or dock will accept Thunderbolt 4, Thunderbolt 3, USB4, USB 3.x and USB 2.0 devices.