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Thunderbolt 5 announced, but don’t expect it on the iPhone 15 Pro

Published Sep 12th, 2023 9:58AM EDT
Apple iPhone 14 Pro Port
Image: Christian de Looper for BGR

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Ahead of the iPhone 15 event, Intel announced the new Thunderbolt 5 connectivity standard. This next generation of Thunderbolt was demonstrated in a prototype laptop and dock and delivered up to three times more bandwidth than Thunderbolt 4.

“Thunderbolt 5 will provide industry-leading performance and capability for connecting computers to monitors, docks, storage, and more. Intel is excited to continue our tradition of leadership for wired connectivity solutions. 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,” said Jason Ziller, general manager of the Client Connectivity Division at Intel.

Thunderbolt 5Image source: Intel

Thunderbolt 5 will deliver 80 gigabits per second (Gbps) of bi-directional bandwidth, and with Bandwidth Boost, it will provide up to 120 Gbps for the best display experience. Built on industry standards – including USB4 V2 – Thunderbolt 5 will be broadly compatible with previous versions of Thunderbolt and USB.  

Thunderbolt 5 builds upon Thunderbolt 4 in several ways, including:

  • Two times the total bi-directional bandwidth; Bandwidth Boost provides up to three times the throughput for video-intensive usage, up to 120 Gbps.
  • Double the PCI Express data throughput for faster storage and external graphics.
  • Built on industry standards including USB4 V2, DisplayPort 2.1 and PCI Express Gen 4; fully compatible with previous versions.
  • Double the bandwidth of Thunderbolt Networking for high-speed PC-to-PC connections.
  • Utilizes a new signaling technology, PAM-3, to deliver these significant increases in performance with today’s printed circuit boards, connectors and passive cables up to 1 meter.

While the iPhone 15 Pro is rumored to get a Thunderbolt 4 port, Apple could adopt this new standard for the OLED iPad Pro, set to be introduced in early 2024. Intel says computers and accessories based on Thunderbolt 5 are expected to be available starting next year, so who knows?

José Adorno Tech News Reporter

José is a Tech News Reporter at BGR. He has previously covered Apple and iPhone news for 9to5Mac, and was a producer and web editor for Latin America broadcaster TV Globo. He is based out of Brazil.