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    Everything You Need to Know About Thunderbolt 4

    • 3 min read

    1.What is a Thunderbolt 4 port?

    If you keep up with the latest developments in technology, there's a good chance you've heard of Thunderbolt 4 technology. You might even have a device with a Thunderbolt 4 port.

    But if you look closely, you'll find that this so-called Thunderbolt 4 port looks suspiciously like a USB-C port. Well, that's because it is a USB-C port! So what exactly is the difference?


    USB-C is the name for this physical type of port, while Thunderbolt 4 is a protocol. Or to put it another way, a Thunderbolt 4 port is a USB-C port that features the Thunderbolt 4 protocol.

    So now let's take a look at some of the features of Thunderbolt 4:

    2.Features of Thunderbolt 4

    • Screen Expansion: Mirror or expand your display to 2 monitors in up to 4K, or up to 8K to a single monitor.

    • Charging Power: Provide up to 100W charging power from a single port.

    • Data Transfer: Supports a PCIe data transfer speed of 32 Gbps.

    • Support Wake From Sleep: Thunderbolt 4 lets users wake up their laptop using an external keyboard or mouse that's connected via the Thunderbolt 4 port.

    • Security: Thunderbolt 4 provides Direct Memory Access (DMA) protection. It is based on Intel VT-d's DMA attack* protection, which can physically prevent DMA attacks. Although this level of protection is probably overkill for ordinary users, it can prevent malicious devices from using DMA to steal information from enterprises and users with extremely high data-confidentiality requirements.

    *DMA attack: In a Direct Memory Access attack, PCIe devices can directly access the data in a device's memory without going through the CPU. In short, if a malicious PCIe device accesses the computer, then even an encrypted computer can be easily cracked.

    If you're not sure what all of that information means in context, let's have a look at how Thunderbolt 4 stacks up against other protocols including Thunderbolt 3:

    How Thunderbolt 4 is different than other solutions
    Based on minimum solution requirements so people know what they are getting
    Thunderbolt™ 4
    Thunderbolt™ 3
    Unrivaled Simplicity
    One universal computer port
    Universal 40Gb/s cables up to 2 meters in length
    Accessories with four Thunderbolt ports
    Maximum Performance
    Minimum PC speed requirements
    40 Gb/s
    40 Gb/s
    20 Gb/s
    10 Gb/s
    Minimum PC video requirements
    Two 4K displays
    One 4K display
    One display
    (No Minimum)
    One display
    (No Minimum)
    Minimum PC data requirements
    PCIe 32 Gb/s USB 3.2 - 10Gb/s
    PCIe 16 Gb/s USB 3.2 - 10Gb/s
    USB 3.2 - 10Gb/s
    USB 3.2 - 5Gb/s
    Required PC charging on at least one computer port *
    Required PC wake from sleep when computer is connected to a Thunderbolt dock
    Minimum PC port power for accessories
    Thunderbolt Networking
    Reliable Connectivity
    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
    USB 4 Specification
    *For thin and light notebooks that require less than 100W to charge


    As you can see, Thunderbolt 4 outmuscles all of the USB specifications that we compared it to.

    At the moment, Anker only has one Thunderbolt 4 docking station, and that's Anker Apex. With Anker Apex, you get a total of 12 interfaces, you can connect to 3 monitors in 4K, connect to a single screen in 8K, power up your laptop at high speed, and transfer data at up to 40 Gbps.

    So if Thunderbolt 4 sounds like something you need, look no further than Anker Apex. Check it out here: link.

    Our Top Picks for You

    Product name Anker Apex Thunderbolt 4 Docking Station PowerExpand 8-in-1 USB-C Hub PowerExpand 11-in-1 USB-C Hub PowerExpand 7-in-2 USB-C Hub
    Price $299.99 $89.99 $99.99 $59.99
    Picture Anker Apex Thunderbolt 4 Docking Station Piciture
    PowerExpand 8-in-1 USB-C Hub Piciture
    PowerExpand 11-in-1 USB-C Hub Picture
    PowerExpand 7-in-2 USB-C Hub Piciture
    Number of Ports 12 8 11 7
    Number of Supported Displays 3 1 2 2
    Supports Laptop Charging
    Data Transfer 40 Gbps 10 Gbps 5 Gbps 40 Gbps
    USB-A Port 2 × USB 3.1 Gen 2, 10 Gbps, 5V/0.9A
    2 × USB 2.0, 480 Mbps, 5V/0.5A
    2 × USB 3.1 Gen 2 2 × USB 2.0
    1 × USB 3.0
    2 × USB 3.0
    USB-C Port 1 × USB 3.1 Gen 2, 10 Gbps, PD 3.0, 9V/2.25A 1 × USB 3.1 Gen 2 1 × USB 3.0 1 × USB 3.0
    Thunderbolt Port 1 × Thunderbolt 4 downstream port, 40 Gbps, 8K@30Hz, 15W - - 1 x Thunderbolt 3 port, 40 Gbps, 5K@60Hz
    HDMI Port 2 × HDMI 2.0, 4K@60Hz 1 x HDMI, 4K@60Hz 1 x HDMI, 4K@60Hz 1 x HDMI, 4K@30Hz
    Display Port - - 1 x HDMI, 4K@60Hz -
    SD/microSD Card Slot SD Card Slot: UHS-II UHS-I UHS-I UHS-I
    Audio In&Out 3.5 mm 3.5 mm 3.5 mm -
    Ethernet Port 1 Gbps 1 Gbps 1 Gbps -