USB4 catches up to Thunderbolt 3 with 40Gbps data transfer speeds

USB 4 Debuts With Twice the Throughput and Thunderbolt 3 Support

USB 4 Debuts With Twice the Throughput and Thunderbolt 3 Support

The USB Interface Group's press release about the USB4 specification (yes this standard drops the space between the string "USB" and the generational numeral) says it will be a major update to the specification.

USB4 uses USB Type C which was introduced with USB 3.2 Gen2. The event will provide detailed technical training on the new specification along with USB Type-C cable and USB Power Delivery training. Intel plans to integrate support for Thunderbolt 3 and USB4 natively into upcoming products. 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.

USB 4 is coming, and it's gonna make your gadgets transfer content a whole lot faster. 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. You can send nearly anything over USB as long as it is a supported protocol. The new standard will be backwards compatible with existing USB 3.2, USB 2.0 and Thunderbolt 3 hosts although if they don't have USB-C connectors they will need an adapter.

The good news is that Intel has long promised that it will eventually make Thunderbolt 3 royalty-free, and on Monday we finally got a glimpse of how that will happen: Thunderbolt 3 is merging with USB.

The USB 4 standard will be finalized in mid-2019. When an inferior-spec device is connected, a USB4 port will negotiate the "best mutual capability" of the two connected devices. So, all USB4 devices and ports will support Thunderbolt devices.




The USB 4 specification will be published in the middle of 2019 and will probably appear in devices in late 2020 or early 2021 - it usually takes around 1.5 years for devices to come to market once a new standard is published for the first time. "The USB4 solution specifically tailors bus operation to further enhance this experience by optimizing the blend of data and display over a single connection and enabling the further doubling of performance".

Ultimately, relinquishing control over Thunderbolt 3 is indeed a "significant milestone for making today's simplest and most versatile port available to everyone", as Intel General Manager for Client Connectivity Jason Ziller said in a statement.

Last week, it was announced that USB 3.2 was ready for prime time, meaning new high-bandwidth cables will start rolling out some time this year, while all previous USB 3.1 cables can be re-branded as a version of USB 3.2.

"USB4's high throughput and advanced features enable new scenarios in consumer, enterprise, and intelligent edge markets, while maintaining interoperability with existing USB and Thunderbolt 3 devices", said Roanne Sones, Corporate Vice President, Microsoft OS Platforms.

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