‘New Intel thunderbolt controller chip can control two 4k displays’

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Intel is said to be working on a new Thunderbolt controller chip that will double the bandwidth from 20Gbit/s to 40Gbit/s. This makes it possible to control two 4k monitors via the so-called Alpine Rock controller.

Information about the presumably new thunderbolt controller has come out via an Intel presentation that has been put online by Chinese VR-Zone. It states that the Alpine Rock chip offers double the bandwidth compared to the Thunderbolt 2 standard: 40Gbit/s instead of 20Gbit/s. A new name for the standard, for example thunderbolt 3, has not yet been released by Intel.

With a bandwidth of 40Gbit/s, the controller can simultaneously control two 4k monitors at full resolution via a single cable, something that is unfeasible with current Thunderbolt standards and is an interesting configuration, especially for video professionals.

Alpine Ridge can also power appliances. A maximum of 100W can be sent over a thunderbolt cable, but according to Engadget, Intel will introduce another connector for that. An adapter therefore seems necessary for older Thunderbolt equipment. Incidentally, the controller can also handle DisplayPort 1.2, HDMI 2.0 and USB 3.0. In addition, according to the information on the Intel slide, the Alpine Ridge controller consumes 50 percent less power than its predecessor.

The Alpine Ridge chipset is not expected to be available until next year at the earliest. In addition, the controller must connect to Skylake, Intel’s planned successor to the Broadwell processor generation.

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