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Thunderbolt 4 is here with universal compatibility and 40Gb/s bandwidth.

Intel made several key changes to Thunderbolt technology over the last three years to make it more mainstream. It provided the specification for Thunderbolt 3 to the USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF), allowing Thunderbolt to become universally compatible with USB. Thunderbolt 3 forms the backbone of USB4, and that's one of the reasons USB4 has 40Gb/s bandwidth — double that of USB 3.2.

Intel is now introducing Thunderbolt 4, with the new standard offering a few key features. The bandwidth with Thunderbolt 4 is unchanged at 40Gb/s, but Intel is introducing new controllers that introduce three downstream ports that will share the bandwidth, making it that much easier to connect more accessories. This is a big deal for Thunderbolt docks, because they will be able to offer more ports.

Intel is also adding support for two 4K monitors or one 8K panel, and the latter is new with Thunderbolt 4. For context, Thunderbolt 3 could drive up to a 5K monitor, but with 8K displays on the horizon, Intel is making sure its latest spec can handle the extra bandwidth.
 
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