Intel announces Thunderbolt 5 — with 120Gbps speeds and 240W power

Intel has announced Thunderbolt 5, with data transfer speeds up to three times faster and power transmission support 1.4x greater than its predecessor.

In a statement on the new standard, Intel Client Connectivity Division general manager Jason Ziller said that Thunderbolt 5 would provide industry-leading performance and capability for connecting computers to monitors, docks, storage and other components.

“Thunderbolt is now the mainstream port for connectivity on mobile PCs, and delivering the next generation of performance with Thunderbolt 5 will provide even more capability for the most demanding users,” Ziller said.

The new fixed connectivity standard supports 80Gbps bi-directional bandwidth — double that of Thunderbolt 4.

That will result in file transfers at twice the speed of Thunderbolt 4 and double the bandwidth to external GPUs, which is great news for gaming on a PC with a separate standalone GPU.

For transmitting high volumes of display data traffic, the speed can be increased by a further 40Gbps using an optional Bandwidth Boost feature.

That will enable a single Thunderbolt 5 cable and connector to support dual 8K output, which will be useful to video content creators.

The increased power support up to 240W will allow more demanding laptops — including those with gaming GPUs — to use USB-C Thunderbolt 5 connectors instead of the AC/DC adapters they typically require.

Thunderbolt 5 uses the same USB-C connector type as previous generations of Thunderbolt.

Intel said the first computers and accessories supporting Thunderbolt 5 will be released in 2024.

The infographics below from Intel compare the features of Thunderbolt 5 with previous generations of the standard and USB standards.

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Intel announces Thunderbolt 5 — with 120Gbps speeds and 240W power