Features of the upcoming Thunderbolt 5 have been revealed on Twitter, Intel is preparing a new transmission standard that will double the speed of its current technology.
It has only been a year since Intel announced Thunderbolt 4, the current connectivity standard that is starting to appear in the latest laptops on sale worldwide. Even so, Intel is already working on the next generation of the USB standard, whose improvements have been left in plain sight due to the company’s lack of attention.
An image published on Twitter shows some of the main features of this new technology. The message has been quickly removed, but it was too late to hide the fact that Thunderbolt 5 will double the transmission speed of TB 4.
The switch to the new standard, when officially presented, will be a qualitative leap compared to the current interface, allowing it to reach 80 Gbps instead of the 40 Gbps now presented by Intel’s technology. It will also feature a new modulation system called PAM-3.
The double speed with Thunderbolt 5
In the image that Intel has tried to erase and that AnandTech has saved in time, you can see a slide with the new properties of TB 5. The most significant is the doubling of speed to 80 Gbps, something that only happened since the arrival of Thunderbolt 3 more than four years ago.
This increase is a considerable improvement that will make it easier to transmit data from peripherals to computers. Connecting a monitor, a storage unit, or using modern external graphics cards to the laptop means an increasingly demanding data flow that requires a faster interface to maintain the performance of the devices.
Intel will increase the speed but will keep these connections on USB-C, increasingly widespread in smartphones, tablets, and computers. This already happened with the arrival of Thunderbolt 4 and in the future, it will happen in the same way with Thunderbolt 5.
What will not be the same is the technology on which this new standard will be based. Thunderbolt 5 will feature a modulation system known as PAM3, which has the particularity of using three levels, i.e. three data bits (0, +1, and -1). This means a higher bandwidth than the single-cycle Non-return-to-zero (NRZ) or PAM-2 technology (two bits: 0 and 1) used in the current Thunderbolt.
The company’s goal is to improve the power, bandwidth, and usability of its standard while preserving the USB-C format. However, there is still no firm date for the introduction of Thunderbolt 5 and considering how close the addition of Thunderbolt 4 is, we will most likely still have to wait quite a while to see the new one in stores.