Thunderbolt 5 details leak via deleted Twitter photo by Intel executive

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited August 2
A tweet from an Intel executive has tweeted then deleted an image that showed off some details about the in-development Thunderbolt 5, including that Intel is aiming to double the existing Thunderbolt bandwidth limits to 80Gbps.




An early Sunday tweet was posted by EVP and GM of Intel Client Computing Group Gregory Bryant has prompted speculation about the future of Thunderbolt as a communications technology. The executive posted a collection of four images from a visit to Intel's Israel research and development hub, but quietly deleted one of the photographs.

Seen by Anandtech, the image was wiped from Twitter as it includes a poster in the background that details what is believed to be Thunderbolt 5. The poster imparts a few key pieces of information about the connection's operation, including that it is tentatively called "USB 80G."

Despite not stating Thuderbolt at all on the poster, Bryan's tweet mentions it was a Thunderbolt-related lab tour. Also, given the closeness of Thunderbolt and USB by Intel allowing the Thunderbolt 3 specification to be part of the USB 4 standard, it seems highly plausible the poster is about Thunderbolt 5.

An image deleted from Twitter originally published by Intel's Gregory Bryant
An image deleted from Twitter originally published by Intel's Gregory Bryant


According to the poster in the image, the connection is "targeted to support the existing USB-C ecosystem," which means Intel plans to continue using the USB Type-C connection.

An unusual element of the poster is a mention of its use of a "novel PAM-3 modulation technology." This indicates Intel is keen to try a completely different system for transmitting bits than normal.

Normally, the data line transmits one bit at a time, with an electrical signal switching between two states, also known as NRZ encoding. An alternative, Pulse-Amplitude Modulation 4 (PAM-4) mentions how two bits can be transferred at a time, with the 4 referring to the number of pairs of bits it can produce.

PAM-3 differs in that a data line can move between three states, covering 0, +1, or a -1. A pair of transmissions tells the system what a group of three bits are, giving an efficiency around 50% greater than NRZ.

To consumers, Thunderbolt 5 should theoretically provide many of the existing benefits of Thunderbolt 3 including power delivery, video,Thunderbolt networking, and high amounts of bandwidth. In the case of Thunderbolt 5, the doubled bandwidth from 40Gbps to 80Gbps will enable faster file transfers, as well as sustaining high-data communications between connected devices with fewer limitations.

Apple's current products support Thunderbolt 3. While some accessories have been released with Thunderbolt 4 support, it may be a while before Apple moves over to the standard.

It remains to be seen when Thunderbolt 5 will be formally introduced, but the unexpected leak at least offers a hint of what to expect from the standard's arrival.

Read on AppleInsider

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 19
    mcdavemcdave Posts: 1,764member
    Apple should augment its USB-C & MagSafe connectors with optical transceivers. Surely this is tapping the terabit by now?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 19
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 5,741member
    mcdave said:
    Apple should augment its USB-C & MagSafe connectors with optical transceivers. Surely this is tapping the terabit by now?
    It's hard enough trying to get USBc to be accepted by everyone.  Last thing we need is for Apple to jump ship and use a new connector.  There are barely any external USB4/Thunderbolt devices in use, and even then... not much saturates the 40gb/s bandwidth.  When 80gb/s comes around, even less with take up that much.

    Of course, those using multiple Apple 6K monitors will maybe tap it, but those are the exceptions to the rule.

    Either way, I'm pretty excited to see that day come.  80gb/s (10GB/s) is pretty amazing. 
    williamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 19
    doggonedoggone Posts: 294member
    sflocal said:
    mcdave said:
    Apple should augment its USB-C & MagSafe connectors with optical transceivers. Surely this is tapping the terabit by now?
    It's hard enough trying to get USBc to be accepted by everyone.  Last thing we need is for Apple to jump ship and use a new connector.  There are barely any external USB4/Thunderbolt devices in use, and even then... not much saturates the 40gb/s bandwidth.  When 80gb/s comes around, even less with take up that much.

    Of course, those using multiple Apple 6K monitors will maybe tap it, but those are the exceptions to the rule.

    Either way, I'm pretty excited to see that day come.  80gb/s (10GB/s) is pretty amazing. 
    I'm hoping the TB5 format will be backwards compatible with USB-C.  It's the perfect connector for me and I would like Apple to use it for the iPhone and other devices in addition to the iPad and Mac.
    caladanianpulseimagesArchStantonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 19
    doggone said:
    sflocal said:
    mcdave said:
    Apple should augment its USB-C & MagSafe connectors with optical transceivers. Surely this is tapping the terabit by now?
    It's hard enough trying to get USBc to be accepted by everyone.  Last thing we need is for Apple to jump ship and use a new connector.  There are barely any external USB4/Thunderbolt devices in use, and even then... not much saturates the 40gb/s bandwidth.  When 80gb/s comes around, even less with take up that much.

    Of course, those using multiple Apple 6K monitors will maybe tap it, but those are the exceptions to the rule.

    Either way, I'm pretty excited to see that day come.  80gb/s (10GB/s) is pretty amazing. 
    I'm hoping the TB5 format will be backwards compatible with USB-C.  It's the perfect connector for me and I would like Apple to use it for the iPhone and other devices in addition to the iPad and Mac.
    Not at all perfect.  My USB-C power cable sometimes slips out by a millimeter or so and stops providing power.  Lightning connector, with its discrete detent never has this issue. 
    baconstangspock1234MplsPStrangeDayswatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 19
    coolfactorcoolfactor Posts: 1,833member
    doggone said:
    sflocal said:
    mcdave said:
    Apple should augment its USB-C & MagSafe connectors with optical transceivers. Surely this is tapping the terabit by now?
    It's hard enough trying to get USBc to be accepted by everyone.  Last thing we need is for Apple to jump ship and use a new connector.  There are barely any external USB4/Thunderbolt devices in use, and even then... not much saturates the 40gb/s bandwidth.  When 80gb/s comes around, even less with take up that much.

    Of course, those using multiple Apple 6K monitors will maybe tap it, but those are the exceptions to the rule.

    Either way, I'm pretty excited to see that day come.  80gb/s (10GB/s) is pretty amazing. 
    I'm hoping the TB5 format will be backwards compatible with USB-C.  It's the perfect connector for me and I would like Apple to use it for the iPhone and other devices in addition to the iPad and Mac.
    Not at all perfect.  My USB-C power cable sometimes slips out by a millimeter or so and stops providing power.  Lightning connector, with its discrete detent never has this issue. 

    I truly believed that LIghtning was a superior connector over USB-C (male into female), and the satisfying "click" is ...well, satisfying. But... I've had so much grief with Lightning on three separate iPhones. The inside connectors seem to be bend and no longer make contact with the plug contacts. It's been super frustrating on my previous two SE's... and now on my XR... so now I use Qi charging exclusively for my XR.

    I'm warming up to USB-C now that I've had some experience with it on a few devices.
    crowleycaladanianjellybellyArchStanton
  • Reply 6 of 19
    entropysentropys Posts: 3,120member
    Good grief, I still use TB2
    baconstangspock1234watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 19
    Irrespective of future speeds, the basic design of the usb-c/thunderbolt connector is flawed. I have tried so many certified cables and they vary in fit (tightness) whilst the ports seemingly loosen over time as well. I was 'lucky' that my MBP required an out-of-warranty keyboard change and replacement battery and that Apple who were picking up the tab — they agreed to address the ports at the same time, though unfortunately the improvement has been shortlived. This is such a basic issue that it's difficult to get excited about new hardware annoucements or the next OS, when something so fundermental is ignored. Until the design is changed things won't improve.
    williamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 19
    dewmedewme Posts: 3,834member
    Would be interesting if Apple could work with the connector standards bodies to come up with a MagSafe-like variant of the USB-C connector and cables. I’m thinking a magnet ring or array on the host/device side of the port (not in the cables) that would help keep USB-C cables designed with a ferrous connector shroud stay in the host side more securely. The connector shroud on the male side of the connector would act as a flux collector.

    Existing cables without the MagSafe design would still function perfectly in MagSafe ports, as would MagSafe cables in non-MagSafe ports, but without the added benefit of magnetic retention.

    Maybe call the MagSafe compatible cables USB-C(m) or something to distinguish them from standard USB-C. Yeah, I know that there are already too many variations of USB-C compatibility, so maybe it’s time to provide more clarity across the board for things like power delivery and Thunderbolt compatibility, e.g., USB-C(p), USB-C(t), etc.

    I wouldn’t want to put magnets in the cables because it would drive up demand for rare earth magnets to unsustainable levels. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 19
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 10,309member
    entropys said:
    Good grief, I still use TB2

    I still use USB-A.
    If it does the job, who cares?


    baconstangMplsP
  • Reply 10 of 19
    BeatsBeats Posts: 2,532member
    doggone said:
    sflocal said:
    mcdave said:
    Apple should augment its USB-C & MagSafe connectors with optical transceivers. Surely this is tapping the terabit by now?
    It's hard enough trying to get USBc to be accepted by everyone.  Last thing we need is for Apple to jump ship and use a new connector.  There are barely any external USB4/Thunderbolt devices in use, and even then... not much saturates the 40gb/s bandwidth.  When 80gb/s comes around, even less with take up that much.

    Of course, those using multiple Apple 6K monitors will maybe tap it, but those are the exceptions to the rule.

    Either way, I'm pretty excited to see that day come.  80gb/s (10GB/s) is pretty amazing. 
    I'm hoping the TB5 format will be backwards compatible with USB-C.  It's the perfect connector for me and I would like Apple to use it for the iPhone and other devices in addition to the iPad and Mac.
    Not at all perfect.  My USB-C power cable sometimes slips out by a millimeter or so and stops providing power.  Lightning connector, with its discrete detent never has this issue. 

    I truly believed that LIghtning was a superior connector over USB-C (male into female), and the satisfying "click" is ...well, satisfying. But... I've had so much grief with Lightning on three separate iPhones. The inside connectors seem to be bend and no longer make contact with the plug contacts. It's been super frustrating on my previous two SE's... and now on my XR... so now I use Qi charging exclusively for my XR.

    I'm warming up to USB-C now that I've had some experience with it on a few devices.

    I’ve had the opposite experience with Lightning.

    im sure if you spent a decade with USB C you’d find a new set of problems.

    I believe the perfect shape is cylindrical.
    StrangeDays
  • Reply 11 of 19
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 5,741member
    entropys said:
    Good grief, I still use TB2
    TB2 and TB3 are essentially the same bandwidth wise.  

    I have a Promise R8 and R6 disk towers, both TB2.  Works perfectly on my 2020 iMac with a TB2 - > TB3 adapter.  They both still do not saturate the 40gb/s bandwidth.
    williamlondonGeorgeBMac
  • Reply 12 of 19
    doggone said:
    sflocal said:
    mcdave said:
    Apple should augment its USB-C & MagSafe connectors with optical transceivers. Surely this is tapping the terabit by now?
    It's hard enough trying to get USBc to be accepted by everyone.  Last thing we need is for Apple to jump ship and use a new connector.  There are barely any external USB4/Thunderbolt devices in use, and even then... not much saturates the 40gb/s bandwidth.  When 80gb/s comes around, even less with take up that much.

    Of course, those using multiple Apple 6K monitors will maybe tap it, but those are the exceptions to the rule.

    Either way, I'm pretty excited to see that day come.  80gb/s (10GB/s) is pretty amazing. 
    I'm hoping the TB5 format will be backwards compatible with USB-C.  It's the perfect connector for me and I would like Apple to use it for the iPhone and other devices in addition to the iPad and Mac.
    Not at all perfect.  My USB-C power cable sometimes slips out by a millimeter or so and stops providing power.  Lightning connector, with its discrete detent never has this issue. 

    I truly believed that LIghtning was a superior connector over USB-C (male into female), and the satisfying "click" is ...well, satisfying. But... I've had so much grief with Lightning on three separate iPhones. The inside connectors seem to be bend and no longer make contact with the plug contacts. It's been super frustrating on my previous two SE's... and now on my XR... so now I use Qi charging exclusively for my XR.

    I'm warming up to USB-C now that I've had some experience with it on a few devices.
    Issues I've had with Lightning usually boiled down to compressed lint in the iPhone's receptacle.  Especially if the phone is the same color as the lint...
    spock1234GeorgeBMacMplsPwatto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 19
    Love the increased speeds but not looking for yet another different port connector. 
    There usually are some drawback to plug->port. Old school mini din or RCA to HDMI to Lightning to USB-C. Unless you are using a locking mechanism such as a BNC(not practical here), the USB-C physical connector sufficiently does the trick. Same connector and backwards compatible? Great!
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 19
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 3,278member
    doggone said:
    sflocal said:
    mcdave said:
    Apple should augment its USB-C & MagSafe connectors with optical transceivers. Surely this is tapping the terabit by now?
    It's hard enough trying to get USBc to be accepted by everyone.  Last thing we need is for Apple to jump ship and use a new connector.  There are barely any external USB4/Thunderbolt devices in use, and even then... not much saturates the 40gb/s bandwidth.  When 80gb/s comes around, even less with take up that much.

    Of course, those using multiple Apple 6K monitors will maybe tap it, but those are the exceptions to the rule.

    Either way, I'm pretty excited to see that day come.  80gb/s (10GB/s) is pretty amazing. 
    I'm hoping the TB5 format will be backwards compatible with USB-C.  It's the perfect connector for me and I would like Apple to use it for the iPhone and other devices in addition to the iPad and Mac.
    Not at all perfect.  My USB-C power cable sometimes slips out by a millimeter or so and stops providing power.  Lightning connector, with its discrete detent never has this issue. 

    I truly believed that LIghtning was a superior connector over USB-C (male into female), and the satisfying "click" is ...well, satisfying. But... I've had so much grief with Lightning on three separate iPhones. The inside connectors seem to be bend and no longer make contact with the plug contacts. It's been super frustrating on my previous two SE's... and now on my XR... so now I use Qi charging exclusively for my XR.

    I'm warming up to USB-C now that I've had some experience with it on a few devices.
    IME I like lightning better than USB C. One issue I have found with iPhones is they tend to collect lint in the lightning socket and it doesn't take much to keep the plug from seating properly and causing an intermittent connection. If his happens, take a toothpick and gently clean out the port.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 19
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 3,278member
    entropys said:
    Good grief, I still use TB2

    I still use USB-A.
    If it does the job, who cares?
    A lot of people will scream "USB C is the future!" but I agree with you - USB A has an installed base of hundreds of millions of devices and with the exception of large file transfers and video, there's no real need for anything faster. TB 3/4/5 is really intended for these purposes, though. No one needs TB 5 for a keyboard or a mouse, but for dual external 5k monitors or for an external drive transferring large files it does make a difference.

    The problem with USB C is it's a mess - you have one connector for power, USB 3, USB 4, TB 3, TB 4 and now possibly TB 5. All this means you don't know what you have when you see a USB C port, and you don't know what you can do with a USB C cable. In the end it's not much better, and in some ways worse than having separate connectors.
    edited August 3 GeorgeBMacwilliamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 19
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 10,309member
    MplsP said:
    The problem with USB C is it's a mess - you have one connector for power, USB 3, USB 4, TB 3, TB 4 and now possibly TB 5. All this means you don't know what you have when you see a USB C port, and you don't know what you can do with a USB C cable. In the end it's not much better, and in some ways worse than having separate connectors.

    That could all be solved with this newish invention they call "writing"
    Remember when things were labelled like "Boys" & "Girls" or "TB2"?

    We had it.  We used it.  But for some reason we reverted back to Egyptian Hieroglyphics from 2,500 years ago (or nothing).
    edited August 3 TeeJoroni
  • Reply 17 of 19
    mcdavemcdave Posts: 1,764member
    sflocal said:
    mcdave said:
    Apple should augment its USB-C & MagSafe connectors with optical transceivers. Surely this is tapping the terabit by now?
    It's hard enough trying to get USBc to be accepted by everyone.  Last thing we need is for Apple to jump ship and use a new connector.  There are barely any external USB4/Thunderbolt devices in use, and even then... not much saturates the 40gb/s bandwidth.  When 80gb/s comes around, even less with take up that much.

    Of course, those using multiple Apple 6K monitors will maybe tap it, but those are the exceptions to the rule.

    Either way, I'm pretty excited to see that day come.  80gb/s (10GB/s) is pretty amazing. 
    Hence “augment” the USB-C connector (like Apple augmented SMS with iMessage), that lug inside the port is just crying out to be an optical transceiver. The port can retain the slow TB5 too. Use cases would be anything beyond storage (eGPUS, displays, PCIe bus replacement) it would be the connector we all thought TB was meant to be.

    MagSafe is already proprietary, the optical connector could replace the physical port which inherently compromises the case integrity.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 19
    mcdavemcdave Posts: 1,764member
    MplsP said:
    The problem with USB C is it's a mess - you have one connector for power, USB 3, USB 4, TB 3, TB 4 and now possibly TB 5. All this means you don't know what you have when you see a USB C port, and you don't know what you can do with a USB C cable. In the end it's not much better, and in some ways worse than having separate connectors.

    That could all be solved with this newish invention they call "writing"
    Remember when things were labelled like "Boys" & "Girls" or "TB2"?

    We had it.  We used it.  But for some reason we reverted back to Egyptian Hieroglyphics from 2,500 years ago (or nothing).
    Sounds a little bit imposing for our enlightened, liberal societies.
  • Reply 19 of 19
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 10,309member
    mcdave said:
    MplsP said:
    The problem with USB C is it's a mess - you have one connector for power, USB 3, USB 4, TB 3, TB 4 and now possibly TB 5. All this means you don't know what you have when you see a USB C port, and you don't know what you can do with a USB C cable. In the end it's not much better, and in some ways worse than having separate connectors.

    That could all be solved with this newish invention they call "writing"
    Remember when things were labelled like "Boys" & "Girls" or "TB2"?

    We had it.  We used it.  But for some reason we reverted back to Egyptian Hieroglyphics from 2,500 years ago (or nothing).
    Sounds a little bit imposing for our enlightened, liberal societies.

    I think it may have more to do with the anti-intellectual conservative ones who never learned how to read.
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