The new platform will finally come with proper PCIe Gen5 hardware support and won't need to share lanes between GPU and M.2 devices. Tech is a rapidly changing industry, and with each generation of hardware we see improvements and innovations that really push the boundaries of what's possible. One of the most exciting developments we're seeing at the moment is Intel's Arrow Lake Desktop CPU platform. This is a platform that will be able to support the next generation Thunderbolt 5 controller, codenamed Barlow Ridge.
A few days ago we saw the latest slides leaked for the Intel Arrow Lake-S Desktop CPU platform, and now YuuKi_AnS is sharing more information, but this time the focus is on a single aspect, the I/O support. This is a significant upgrade as the new Intel Arrow Lake-S Desktop CPUs will finally come with proper PCIe Gen5 hardware support and won't need to split lanes between the GPU and M.2 devices.
This CPU will provide 20 PCIe Gen5 lanes (x16 for GPU and x4 for M.2). In addition to the Gen5 lanes, there will also be certain PCIe Gen4 lanes with x8 for DMI connecting the MTP-S PCH, x4 for an additional M.2 & x4 for the next generation Barlow Ridge "Thunderbolt 5" controller. Intel's Barlow Ridge is the codename for the next-generation Thunderbolt 5 controller that 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. The new Thunderbolt interface will offer up to 3 DDIs of DP2.1 from the dedicated 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 Arrow Lake-S CPU SOCs, as not all platforms will have support for TBT5 at launch. It is indicated that the standardization of Barlow Bridge among desktop platforms may begin in 2025-2026, but it will be an interesting development.