Intel Arrow Lake Desktop CPU Platform To Feature Thunderbolt 5 “Barlow Ridge” For Up To 120 Gbps Bandwidth

Intel’s Arrow Lake Desktop CPU platform will be hosting support for the next-gen Thunderbolt 5 controller codenamed Barlow Ridge.

Intel’s Next-Gen CPU Platforms Ready For Next-Gen I/O Standards, Thunderbolt 5 “Barlow Ridge” Coming To Arrow Lake Desktops

A few days ago, we saw the latest slides leak for the Intel Arrow Lake-S Desktop CPU platform and now, YuuKi_AnS is sharing more information but this time, the focus is on one singular aspect, the I/O support.

Image Source: YuuKi_AnS

The Intel Arrow Lake-S Desktop CPUs will finally come with proper PCIe Gen5 hardware support and won’t have to split lanes between the dGPU and M.2 devices. In addition to that, the CPU will carry 20 PCIe Gen5 lanes (x16 for dGPU and x4 for M.2). Besides the Gen5 lanes, there will also be certain PCIe Gen4 lanes with x8 for the DMI connecting the MTP-S PCH, x4 for an additional M.2 & x4 for the next-gen Barlow Ridge “Thunderbolt 5” controller.

Image Source: YuuKi_AnS

Intel’s Barlow Ridge is the codename for the next-gen Thunderbolt 5 controller which will be used on certain platforms. This controller will offer two Type-C ports which will be able to deliver 80 GB/s bi-directional bandwidth and up to 120 Gbps video signal bandwidth. While we have covered the new tech in detail here, the following are some of its main features:

  • 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.
Image Source: YuuKi_AnS

The new Thunderbolt interface will offer up to 3 DDIs of DP2.1 from the discrete GPU. It provides 2 Thunderbolt 5 (80G/120G) Type-C ports, 2 Thunderbolt 4 ports, and has a power rating of 3.25-4W. Intel will also have its Hayden Bridge (Thunderbolt 4) retimers onboard the Arrow Lake-S CPU SOCs since not all platforms will have support for TBT5 at launch. It is stated that the standardization of Barlow Bridge among the desktop platform might begin in 2025-2026 but it will be an interesting development for sure.

News Source: YuuKi_AnS

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