Thunderbolt 5 details leak via deleted Twitter photo by Intel executive

A tweet from an Intel executive that has since been deleted contained an image that revealed some details about the in-development Thunderbolt 5, including that Intel is aiming to double the existing Thunderbolt bandwidth limits to 80Gbps.

Thunderbolt 5 details leak via deleted Twitter photo by Intel executive

Thunderbolt 4 was announced at CES 2020 and the final specification was released in July 2020. The key differences between Thunderbolt 4 and Thunderbolt 3 are support for USB4 protocol and data rates, a minimum bandwidth requirement of 32 Gbit/s for PCIe link, support for dual 4K displays (DisplayPort 1.4), and Intel VT-d-based direct memory access protection to prevent physical DMA attacks.

Maclsom Owne for AppleInsider:

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.

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.

MacDailyNews Take: Bring on Thunderbolt 5!


  1. TB should have been at 80 Gbps over a year ago. DisplayPort has been at 80 Gbps total bandwidth for more than two years.

    Rather than pushing TB forward Intel decided to spend the last couple of years consolidating USB and TB into one superset and call them USB 4 and TB 4 — even though for the vast majority of nuances, including maximum bandwidth, TB 3 is no different than TB 4. The result has been a USB/TB 4 spec has so many exceptions and alternate modes that the end user has no idea what the USB Type-C connector really supports.

  2. Intel completely screwed Apple over with the original Thunderbolt. It was supposed to be the successor to both Firewire and USB. But as soon as Apple shipped the first Thunderbolt Mac, Intel announced USB 3, thus killing the vast majority of demand for Thunderbolt.

    The problem with Firewire was that relatively low demand meant that development costs had to be spread among fewer people, leading to higher costs. Apple was tired of propping up Firewire on their own and wanted a high performance standard that everyone was using. But as soon as USB 3 was announced, that left Apple in exactly the same position they started with – but worse. Lack of market left Thunderbolt devices costing more than Firewire ever did – the adaptors cost more then the devices they were meant to connect. While they were somewhat better than USB 3, Thunderbolt devices never justified their ridiculously high cost. I was so excited about Thunderbolt devices, but never did end up buying any.

    So sure Apple, go with USB 80G. But don’t bother being the first to market, and don’t make a product that depends on it. (Trashcan mac pro).

    1. I radically disagree with your last statement. As long as TB 5 is backwards compatible with TB 4 & TB3 (in both signaling and connectors) then Apple should move to TB 5 as soon as possible,

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