Advantages of Thunderbolt 4 | disadvantages of Thunderbolt 4

This page covers advantages and disadvantages of Thunderbolt 4 interface. It mentions benefits or advantages of Thunderbolt 4 and drawbacks or disadvantages of Thunderbolt 4.

Due to the Thunderbolt interface, it has become possible to interface laptops/desktops with high performance storage/display/multimedia devices using single cable. It supports PCIe and DisplayPort drivers. It also supports power over cable. It supports daisy chaining with up to 6 devices. Based on the speed and other features there are different types of thunderbolt viz. Thunderbolt 1, 2, 3 and Thunderbolt 4.

What is Thunderbolt 4 ?

It is backward compatible with previous versions. It offers 40 Gbps speed to transport video, data and power over single cable.

Thunderbolt 4

Thunderbolt 4 supports following requirements.
• One universal computer port
• Universal 40 Gb/s cables up to 2 meters in length.
• Supports two number of 4K displays instead of one (or supports one 8K display)
• Accessories with four Thunderbolt ports
• Required PC charging on at least one computer port
• Required PC wake from sleep when computer is connected to a Thunderbolt dock
• Thunderbolt networking (10 Gbps ethernet connection between PCs)
• Mandatory certification for all shipping computers, accessories and cables
• Cable testing and cable quality audits for Thunderbolt cable manufacturers
• Required Intel VT-d based DMA protection

Benefits or advantages of Thunderbolt 4

Following are the benefits or advantages of Thunderbolt 4:
➨It offers docks with up to four Thunderbolt ports and supports universal cables up to 2 meters.
➨It is compatible with available hundreds of millions of PCs/Accessories compliant to Thunderbolt 3.
➨It offers increased performance compare to previous Thunderbolt types.
➨It is compliant to USB4 Specification. It transports data, video and power with just one USB Type-C port at 40 Gbps speed.
➨It helps in power savings as users can wake up their computers from sleep by touching keyword or mouse when connected with dock.
➨Laptops with Thunderbolt 4 feature can accept input power up to 100 Watt and can supply 15 Watt externally.

Limitations or drawbacks or disadvantages of Thunderbolt 4

Following are the limitations or drawbacks or disadvantages of Thunderbolt 4:
➨It supports less number of devices (~6) in daisy chaining compare to USB (~127) and Firewire (~63).
➨The devices supporting Thunderbolt 4 are expensive compare to USB.
➨Laptop vendor must support Intel VT-d based DMA (direct memory access). VT-d is the security measure which protects system by preevnting DMA to pre-assigned domains. This will create issues with other manufacturers such as AMD.

Conclusion: Though the speed of Thunderbolt 4 is same as Thunderbolt 3, it has many benefits over previous versions as mentioned above.

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