USB4: Twice As Fast As USB3 And Compatible With Thunderbolt 3

The next USB has just been announced by the USB Promoter Group, and it will bring a major improvement in data transfer speed. How fast will the USB4 be?

USB4 Comes With Double the Bandwidth and Performance Compared to USB3

The next USB is said to support a speed up to 40Gbps, using two-lane operation – each of 20Gbps, and according to Digital Trends, it matches the speed of Thunderbolt 3. The USB4 will use the Thunderbolt protocol but will have different functionality.

Back in 2017, the USB 3.2 was announced, and it was recently released – but it only supports 20Gbps. With this latest announcement, everyone got a little confused – the USB 3.2 was here, and there was a new USB called USB4. Was it a new version of the 3.2? The details of the USB4 showed that it was compatible with the previous standards, such as the 3.2 and 3.1. However, the name USB4 should make it clear that it is a next-gen USB, and not the 3.2 getting a new name or a new version.

According to the USB Promoter Group Chairman, Brad Saunders, the USB aims to “deliver the best user experience combining data, display and power delivery over a user-friendly and robust cable and connector solution,” adding that the USB4 will enhance the experience and optimize it “over a single connection and enabling the further doubling of performance.”

USB4 and Thunderbolt 3

Meanwhile, Intel’s Thunderbolt protocol is being shared with USB Promoter Group, and Intel plans to enable “other chip makers to build Thunderbolt compatible silicon, royalty-free.”

USB4 and its 40Gbps will be a universal standard for all USB ports, and the Thunderbolt 3 will also be featured in more devices.

Considering the USB 3.2 needed a lot of time to be released, expect the USB4’s technical specs to be revealed at the USB Developer Days conference during the second half of the year and then perhaps be used in hardware starting with 2020-2021.

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About the Author: Randy Smith

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