USB4 Leverages Thunderbolt 3 Protocol Doubling Speeds To 40Gbps

USB 4 Debuts With Twice the Throughput and Thunderbolt 3 Support

USB 4 Debuts With Twice the Throughput and Thunderbolt 3 Support

USB 3.2 has been kicking around since 2017, but recent stirrings at MWC 2019 indicate that we should be seeing the technology actually land on shipping devices soon.

It feels like only yesterday that USB-C supplanted Micro-USB as the default connector for most phones and gadgets.

USB4 promises to bring sense to what has become a nonsensical mess of specs, features, and connection types. USB4 is set to feature Thunderbolt 3 compatibility as well.

Secondly, the same devices can have ports that are Thunderbolt compatible and some ports that aren't Thunderbolt compatible - even though they look the same.

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.

The USB Promoter Group explains, "The new USB4 architecture defines a method to share a single high-speed link with multiple end device types dynamically that best serves the transfer of data by type and application". In addition, the USB Promoter Group announced the pending release of the USB4 specification, based on the Thunderbolt protocol.

Manufacturers of end devices pay a one-time fee for the certification, which is the only payment required to obtain the Thunderbolt 3 badge, but cable makers are subject to ongoing rigorous inspections that include spot checks and factory audits to ensure that quality remains acceptable on an ongoing basis. "This, in combination with the integration of Thunderbolt 3 into upcoming Intel processors is a win-win for the industry and consumers".

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One of the biggest changes to the USB specification will be the inclusion of Thunderbolt 3 support.

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.

To add even more icing to the cake, it was announced recently that USB terms would be rebranded: USB 3.0 to USB 3.2 Gen 1 and the marketing term SuperSpeed USB, USB 3.1 to USB 3.2 Gen 2 and the marketing term SuperSpeed USb 10Gbps, and USB 3.2 to USB 3.2 Gen 2x2 and the marketing term SuperSpeed USB 20Gbps.

USB4 will provide double the bandwidth and reach up to 40 Gbps with two-lane operation and over cables certified to handle the high speed, the USB Promoter Group said.

According to the USB Promotors Group, the full USB4 specification will be published during the second half of 2019.

Intel says that over 400 PC designs have come with Thunderbolt 3 support from the likes of HP, Dell, Lenovo, Apple, and Asus, with the number of units shipped doubling each year into the "tens of millions".

What will happen to the connector?

. The USB firmware on the devices you are connecting will be able to split the data you are transferring into two individual streams on the device sending it and put it all back together into a stream of data that the device receiving it can read correctly. It will be staying. Well, the future of the Universal Serial Bus, USB4, will not only work with USB 2.0 and 3.x devices, but Thunderbolt 3 too.

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