The Thunderbolt 4 certification from Intel requires the use of the Texas Instruments (TI) 994AD PDC, which is suffering from poor availability. Intel is temporarily allowing OEMs to use the TI 993AC/994AC chips instead, but these chips do not offer the same technical specifications. As such, Intel is recommending OEMs to communicate the benefits of Thunderbolt 4 and exclude mention of USB4 in marketing materials. Alternatively, Intel suggests OEMs could reference USB4 "compatibility".
Today, we have a report coming from Igor's LAB, in which we are told that the availability of these chips could be very bad. Intel's OEMs are using Texas Instruments (TI) 994AD PDC, however, as the supply of these chips becomes scarce, OEMs are turning to TI 993AC/994AC chips. Intel advises OEMs, carrying these chips in their systems, to only communicate benefits of Thunderbolt 4 and exclude USB 4 mentions, or to communicate benefits of Thunderbolt 4 and reference USB 4 "compatibility." This means that every OEM using the alternative chips will get Intel's Thunderbolt 4 certifications, as the company plans to temporarily issue certifications with these chips included, while the supply chain regulates. TI's 993AC/994AC are assumed to not have the power and regulation capability of the USB 4 as the 994AD PDC can. -- TechPowerUpBasically, laptop makers will need to decide whether they will wait for shipments of the 994AD PDC, and delay shipments, or switch to the older models. In the case of the latter, consumers will end up with USB4 ports that are not fully compliant.
Igor's Lab speculates Apple could also be hit by this problem as the firm uses the same PDCs for its Apple Silicon-based laptops. However, there are rumors that Apple managed to secure a large number of chips, at the expense of the rest of the market.