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USB 4 Officially Announced: Supports Up to 40Gbps Transfer Speed

USB 4 Officially Announced: Supports Up to 40Gbps Transfer Speed

USB4, scheduled for release this year, will include the best parts of both Thunderbolt 3 and USB-C. Improvements could enable a "doubling of performance", the group said in a statement, while maintaining backwards-compatibility with USB 3.2, USB 2.0, and Thunderbolt 3. Intel started certifying devices with support for Thunderbolt 3 in 2015, and in 2017 it made a decision to open the standard. The USB4 architecture is based on the Thunderbolt spec and it will offer double the data transfer speeds along with support for multiple simultaneous data and display protocols. Now, we are looking further into the future, with USB-IF announcing the initial spec for USB 4. USB4 is based on Intel's Thunderbolt technology.

Two-lane operation using existing USB Type-C cables and up to 40 Gbps operation over 40 Gbpscertified cables .

The USB Promotors Group has just officially announced the arrival of the USB4 specification, which will supersede the newly formed (and highly confusing) USB 3.2 protocol. This is a big deal because the way things stand, it's not always clear if a USB-C port is also a Thunderbolt port. Intel designed Thunderbolt back in 2011 and, over time, it came to work over USB-C. So, consumers need to understand that although technically "USB 3.2" runs over USB Type-A or USB Type-C, you'll only get the full performance of USB 3.2 Gen 2x2 over a USB Type-C cable. The 20Gbps USB 3.2, on the other hand, will be called USB 3.2 Gen 2x2.

Now You: What is your take on the USB standard and the new USB4?

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"Releasing the Thunderbolt protocol specification is a significant milestone for making today's simplest and most versatile port available to everyone", said Jason Ziller, General Manager, Client Connectivity Division at Intel. Unfortunately, it's unclear how long after publishing the specification will we see laptops and other computers sporting USB4 Type-C ports with 40Gbps transfer rates. "By collaborating with the USB Promoter Group, we're opening the doors for innovation across a wide range of devices and increasing compatibility to deliver better experiences to consumers".

Our expectations of common screen resolution and the fidelity of connected experiences ratchet up every day, but USB4 could very well accelerate those to the point where 4K or even sharper displays are the norm and file sizes in the gigabytes just aren't that big anymore.

USB Developer Days 2019, in the second half of this year, will include detailed technical training covering the USB4 specification and the latest for USB Type-C, USB Power Delivery, and other exciting topics. Also taking a page from Thunderbolt 3's playbook is the ability to deliver 100W of power and enough bandwidth to support a single 5K display or two 4K displays. With the announcement of the USB4 (no space!) specification, the group has reached the apex of powerful features/confusing nomenclature.

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