Thunderbolt 4 - so what is it?
Thunderbolt 4 is essentially replacing Thunderbolt 3 which for high end Apple and PC users has been the standard for high-speed data transfer for half a dozen years.
Thunderbolt was created by Intel working with Apple. Thunderbolt combined PCIe, DisplayPort, and power as an all-in-one standard, allowing fast data transfers, fast display support and charging - all available in a single cable.
Thunderbolt 1 & 2 used a Mini DisplayPort connector prior to Thunderbolt 3 adopting a USB-C connector. Thunderbolt 4 continues to use this style connector, offering high-speed storage, high-res monitors, and Thunderbolt docking stations. Thunderbolt 4 can daisy chain up to six connected devices.
There's not a huge difference between Thunderbolt 3 and Thunderbolt 4 but it does double its video support for dual 4K displays at 60Hz or one 8K display at 30Hz. It still transfers data at 40Gbs like Thunderbolt 3 but PCIe bandwidth doubles from 16Gps to 32Gbs. External GPU users can expect the same sort of increase.
One of the great advantages of Thunderbolt 4 is its ability to offer three powered out ports on devices like docking stations. This has been a major issue for power users with USB-C.
Whilst USB4 transfers data from 20-40Gbs, Thunderbolt 4 is firmly 40Gbs.
We are seeing all new Apple products feature Thunderbolt 4, likely including the new iPad Pro. Many PC laptops are now shipping with Thunderbolt 4, especially those based around 11th generation Intel Core CPUs.
If you click on the attached photo there's a great compatibility chart provided by Intel.
You will see a growing list of Thunderbolt 4 products at the HomeKit Australia online store.