Intel details Thunderbolt 4: two 4K monitors or one 8K, 4-port docks and 100W charging

07 July 2020
Also, DMA protection is now mandatory. TB4 will debut with Intel's Tiger Lake platform later this year.

Sort by:

someone123, 20 Jul 2020Since I own a pixel, the SD card is a sore spot for me. But... moreThat's why I made my fictional concept smartphone, as it have 2 SIM + 2 SD card slot, IR emitter, non physical button but with click through physical buttons backup (pressing through the top and bottom of the side displays) and a removable battery.

The battery compartment opening is watertight sealed through a mechanical latch you can un-tighten with a screw in the pen/stylet compartment, by the way the stylet head can be turned flipped which reveal the screwdriver for all the screws of the phone.

The battery compartment in which SD and SIM card are (laying flat, meaning taking near no space compared to a tray) is also a special surface that allow contact based wireless charging and high bandwidth data.

The phone itself follow the same logic by being tighten and not requiring glue (only reusable joints) and it is only possible to open it through the battery compartment.
This design basically solve most of the issues.

I even did wonder if I should make an upgradable variant where each chips could be exchanged for other compatible ones.

Demongornot, 13 Jul 2020But it is still already done. I don't think nor don&#... moreSince I own a pixel, the SD card is a sore spot for me. But as the headphone jack is going away, the IR emitter, physical buttons, removable battery - all things that I would like to have in a phone - I would suspect it's not long before the card slots are gone.
For me the point of the SD card is to have a backup, in case the phone becomes damaged. Sure, it would be nice to have more storage, but photo backup is much more important to me.

Agree with the notch, one of the most stupid 'innovation' of this decade.

someone123, 12 Jul 2020I'm not saying it's not possible, just more diffi... moreBut it is still already done.
I don't think nor don't hope so, for retrocompatibility, ease of use, slower time and many other things, just plugin an USB cable from a computer to a smartphone will always be better than wireless which is less secure, require more power, have to deal with tons of protocols.

Plugin a smartphone is as simple as that, instant access to the data, Bluetooth have a close ease of use but is hell of slow and Wi-Fi, well, lets say that you don't just clic a button and transfert files, the process is way more involved than that, it would require a new protocole better than Wi-Fi.

Removing SIMs, why not, but SD card, certainly not, many peoples don't realize that SD card is NOT about transferring files from A to B, but also as a main, secondary or expansion storage, meaning a smartphone with 256GB internal memory that is clearly cheaper than a 1TB one still have the advantage of allowing the users who need the extra space to use SD card for that, and considering more and more huge games and other apps get released, having one or even two SD slot is becoming an important thing as storage space expansion rather than file transfert mean.

Also regardless how fast mobile internet become, you certainly NOT want cloud storage as a regular memory expansion, this is a privacy nightmare and a huge security risk.

Same with Jack, there is not a single valid argument against removing it as an incredibly big amount of devices use it and are compatible without any issues, without taking another port and/or requiring an adapter and mainly it doesn't have to deal with yet another battery based stuff we need to constantly recharge (mainly in our ecological disaster situation).

Yes, many things already have magnetic plugs, including a lot of smartwatches, but the Smartphone world is totally stupid, that's the reason, look at how many smartphones have a HOLE IN THE DISPLAY, seriously, someone waking up from the coma for 4 years would think we all became mad for accepting such a stupid idea, we ALL hate when a single dead pixel is in our display, but yet we accept holes in the name of not having bezel, which are just thing AROUND the display, as if someone would complain that a TV have borders and isn't fullscreen...
And in the same time, while pop up allow for privacy in a world where many peoples start to understand this is important and many experts warn about it, peoples complain about it for totally false arguments they didn't even bother to check first.
That's totally backward, peoples praising removal of really important and useful features, addition of totally useless or even negative ones...
So yeah, as for why, just don't overthink it, smartphone industry IS driven by both stupidity/laziness and greed, it take 3 years for a new tech to emerge and it isn't necessarily a good one each time...
There is no innovation, all things seen in smartphone already existed since a while in many other domains, except the stupid ones who had a reason to not exist like punch holes, notches and convex curved display...
The fact that some brands switch FROM one biometric TO another one (Samsung from Iris Scanner to FPS, Apple from FPS to 3D Facial recognition, Google from FPS to 3D facial recognition) rather than doing the logical thing that is almost all other industries is done : Adding a new one to give user two possibilities and improve the performances.
It would be as stupid as when car Airbags became a thing we simply removed the security belt...
Or making 5G basically mandatory by releasing only 5G ready phones while the technology is FAR from even having a proper coverage in the FIRSTS places it is deployed, have tons of issues, most country are in a boycott to the biggest supplier (Huawei) and the tech being basically useless for most peoples, but still it cost quite a lot...

I could keep going for hours as to how stupid the Smartphone industry is, it may be the stupidest one actually.

Demongornot, 10 Jul 2020Well, there are many potential fixs to this, the adapter ca... moreI'm not saying it's not possible, just more difficult at high speeds, especially when you consider EMI. However, I think that in the not-so-far future, most communication will happen wirelessly, I would not be surprised if 5 years from now, most phones will come out with no connectors at all, no sim or sd slots.
I don't know why we don't see more magnetic connectors outside the macs and wearables. Sure, the patent US7311526B2 is licensed by Apple, but it can be sub-licensed to others. Plus, most Windows tablets have magnetic docks.
There must be some reason behind it, outside laziness and greed.

  • Wayne Morellini

What's going on? Even display port 2 can have a 16k display and twice the data rate.

They should look at being more progressive, there are a number of applications requiring higher datarates. VR requires 24k, or probably 2*16k to max out the human feild of vision in stereo. I knew a vr chip manufacturer with 16k prototypes working on higher resolution, years ago. They were a bit to nosy and flippant about confidentiality, so I didn't go any further with that one.

But, another use is touch surfaces, like home touch tables, which need 16k plus to get smooth detail for those with multiple levels above 20/20 eyesight.

Home automation, as many lines connected to as many cameras as needed. One could have a network in a building going up to 1000 PCIe lines to connect to all the camera feeds, which asks for a long distance durable high speed network technology (optical TB?).

In gaming a two GPU external GPU is needed, in other applications, such as 3D rendering, 6 raytracing gpu units are important, aswell as interconnects on render, computing or server farms.

In professional video production, some people may like 6-9 screens, at least two hours, and various specialist equipment hooked up. The talking the future, is 32k cameras, and 96k holographic cameras, requiring that sort of data stream to get quickly imported into the system. These are things which could be started now. Years ago, Sony was testing a 16k Holographic setup out. The talk has been Holographic TV displays soon.

Applications doable now by big corporation. Setting up fur the future not lagging behind. We were promised better than this before even Thunderbolt came out. We should be having port technology in the hundreds of GB/s by now, for use with external GPU's and parrallel computing/super computer use. Recently a university here revealed a fiver optic chip they had been using over local optical lines on the phone network doing 40TB/s. What ever happened to the high speed Thunderbolt optical plans, or Intel laser silicon technology talked about for lightening bolt, which became Thunderbolt?

What they need to do:

Use all available lines. Have excess lines as optional. Have switcher circuits on chipset that devote the available PCI lines to ports which use them, so you don't need enough chipset lines to have all lines active on everyport at once. You plug an external GPU non one, and lower datarate mice and drives in others using fewer lines per port. You plug 6x8k monitors and an dual pane external GPU, a mouse, keyboard, control console and a drive, and loose some lines on some remaining ports. Versus, not being able to deliver this well at all.

Use the latest fastest PCIE everytime it comes out.

An extendable usbc port for more lines. A segmented port allowing a wide plug, or a number of smaller plugs to fit in, held around the corners of the plug, and matching slots in the wide plug. It is optionally as wide as they can make it, meaning even 10 ports wide.

Optional Optical 40 TB high end ports.


More, more, not less. There is so much more which can be done now, which people can figure out an use for once the capability is available.

One current market potential, is a single multiplayer VR world console where 6 or more people can be fed a 6k-24k VR feeds in room from a massive NVIDIA integra parrallel array in a small PC like console box. Which is something neither Microsoft or PlayStation has an answer for. Such hardware could also be used for cloud gaming versions, giving developers a wider market to develop the content for. Now, high speed to home makes sense, as each person in the virtual world segment on the machine is fed a live feed.

  • Anonymous

Demongornot, 09 Jul 2020Thanks you, it is far from done actually, I was doing it in... moreIs there a construction simulator? Something that allows you to design an entire product, including electronics, in a 3D design. To use as the basis for manufacture prototyping?

I would also like to see your web page on your project, please? I'm interested in a nifty phone design and features myself. Maybe in collaboration with a major player.

someone123, 10 Jul 2020At those very high speeds you need a controlled impedance p... moreWell, there are many potential fixs to this, the adapter can, for example, have all wires of the inner ring being in a twist (coaxial cable style) before reaching the contacters (adapter side) making them having enough distance to effectively be equal to those on the outer ring.
The difference in length is quite small, this would be easily fixable with many potential solutions.

Technically the USB-C and Lightning connectors both could be criticized about the same problem as both have pins lined up, the exterior ones obviously have further distance laterally from the cable that need to be compensated, you could consider each pin as a circle, meaning there is actually more different sized circles in typical USB-C and Lightning.

There are many electronic systems that have to deal with way smaller compensation than that, this is easily doable in modern electronic standard.
In fact, a multiple ring style magnetic adapter is already a thing :
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07Z3DJDBV
Furthermore, one could argue that more complex designs already exist :
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07MCS2WWC

Demongornot, 09 Jul 2020Yes and no, what should be mandatory is an universal magnet... moreAt those very high speeds you need a controlled impedance path, basically all differential wires need to travel the same length. Having circles of different sizes complicates the RF design a lot. It can be done, but I'm not sure if it will be done.
I like the design, but I can't see it supporting high speeds. Would basically only work for charging and USB1 or 2-class speeds.

abigfanoftechs, 09 Jul 2020Use Blender or FreeCAD. Fusion is good but expensive for co... moreThat's why I'll only use the free trial, and since I don't plan on building or selling the phone (this is just a concept phone showcasing, in a realistic manner what can be done) this doesn't fall under commercial use.
That's literally me just being a nerd and making an imaginary phone ^^

Demongornot, 09 Jul 2020Thanks you, it is far from done actually, I was doing it in... moreUse Blender or FreeCAD. Fusion is good but expensive for commercial uses.

talha5007, 09 Jul 2020i liked details of your concept device. specially the magne... moreThanks you, it is far from done actually, I was doing it in SketchUp, but it have its limits, I downloaded the 1 year free trial of Autodesk Fusion 360 which allow much better creations, I'll do all the internal, push the concepts further to explain them better and make a serie of videos !

So the speed remains the same, but now TB4 can handle two 4K screens. Since I don't use two screens, TB3 should suffice for me for now.

Demongornot, 09 Jul 2020Yes and no, what should be mandatory is an universal magnet... morei liked details of your concept device. specially the magnetic pop up module and and APS-C camera module.

df13146, 08 Jul 2020It's okay, only for the sake of advancement of the tec... moreYes and no, what should be mandatory is an universal magnetic connector design that allow retro-compatibility with all USB and Lightning through an adapter and have its own super improved cable.
USB is too much of a mess and the cables themselves varies too much in their specs while lightning is too rarely used as you pointed out.
A magnetic connector have lots of advantages, the male and female plugs can't be bent, it take less internal space, there is no ingress issue, there is no wear upon plugging and unplugging often, the manufacturing process is easier, etc etc...
And I also envisioned a latching system, basically all adapters would have a specific ring that any device where there will be many movements could latch onto it to avoid easy disconnections, meaning it have all pros of ports and none of the cons, the only "issue" is the requirement for an adapter.
But I found a nice solution for the adapter :
Making the phone with a stylet which is in 4 segments, the main structure is the size of the whole stylet and you can remove any of the 3 provided adapters (Micro USB or Lightning, USB-C, Jack) or put an additional battery module (also wireless gyro/pointer module if you want), making efficient use of the space !

Though it is far from done, my fictional concept phone have such magnetic port :
https://imgur.com/gallery/ykYfaa6
You can see it on the last image (before the "load more"), though I only talk about adapter for retro compatibility and not its own standard, the connector have 2 big contacter for power and 24 for data, I am still thinking about the concept of the standard, but basically, appart from 2 contacter for cable/devices negotiation (power, data rate, etc), it would use the 22 left as an hybrid of parallel and serial, offering possibly incredibly high speed !

It's okay, only for the sake of advancement of the technology. But, it's pointless, as even the thunderbolt 3 is not used everywhere.
It should be made mandatory to use Thunderbolt 3 and USB C