Intel today previewed the next generation of Thunderbolt, which will enable blazing-fast data transfer speeds and improved external display support on future Macs using the standard in 2023 or later.
The next generation of Thunderbolt will deliver up to 80 Gbps of bandwidth in each direction, enabling up to 2x faster data transfers between future Macs and external storage drives that support the standard compared to current speeds. The next-gen Thunderbolt will also have a mode that allows up to 120 Gbps of bandwidth for external displays, which will allow Macs to support dual 8K displays up to 60Hz.
The latest 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models feature Thunderbolt 4/USB4 ports with up to 40 Gbps of bandwidth in each direction.
Currently, no Mac supports plug-and-play 8K displays. The latest 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models support up to two or three external displays at up to 6K@60Hz, depending on whether the laptop has the M1 Pro or M1 Max chip.
The next generation of Thunderbolt is based on the newly released USB4 version 2.0 and DisplayPort 2.1 specifications and is backward compatible with previous versions of Thunderbolt, USB and DisplayPort. Intel plans to share more details on the official name, features, and capabilities of the next-generation Thunderbolt in 2023.
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