The first details about the USB4 were released in March, but only this week that the USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF) released the final specifications of the new version (PDF). One of the most striking attributes has been confirmed: the technology will even reach up to 40 Gb / s (gigabits per second) when transferring data.
The new speed is one of the three main features of USB4. The 40 Gb / s limit corresponds to twice the transfer rate that USB 3.2, the latest version of the technology so far, is capable of achieving:
- USB 3.0: 5 Gb / s
- USB 3.1: 10 Gb / s
- USB 3.2: 20 Gb / s
- USB4: 40 Gb / s
40 Gb / s takes us to the second notable feature of USB4: universal compatibility with Thunderbolt 3. This compatibility exists because, in fact, the new version of USB is based on this technology, hence the reach of such a high speed.
You may remember that in 2017, Intel announced the decision to stop charging royalties on the Thunderbolt 3 in an attempt to popularize the adoption of the technology. But the company also realized that it made no sense to keep two data transmission standards that have similar purposes separate.
See, the Thunderbolt 3 works with rates of up to 40 Gb / s and has the USB-C port as a connection standard, which is why Intel simply reused these features in USB4 (even because it would be crazy to create another connector). The effect of this is that if you have an external hard drive based on Thunderbolt 3, for example, it should work on USB4 connections.
Let it be clear: in addition to the Thunderbolt 3, the USB4 is backwards compatible with previous versions of USB.
The third notable feature of the new version is the optimization of the data flow to prevent bottlenecks from video streams. In addition, USB4 maintains support for USB Power Delivery, specification introduced with USB 3.1 that works with up to 100 W for powering connected devices.
Only none of this is for now. Between the release of final specifications and the adoption of technology by the industry there is a long way. The first devices based on USB4 should not hit the market until 2020 – and look there.
If you were surprised, know that, yes, USB4 is written anyway, all together. It is an attempt to correct the mess of names that came with previous versions of the technology.
Really mess. When USB 3.2 was announced, USB-IF started promoting versions 3.0 and 3.1 as USB 3.2 Gen 1 and USB 3.2 Gen 2, respectively. Look that:
- USB 3.0: USB 3.2 Gen 1
- USB 3.1: USB 3.2 Gen 2
- USB 3.2: USB 3.2 Gen 2 × 2
From now on, we should not expect new versions to adopt names like USB 4.1 or Gen this, Gen that. Future specifications should be named USB5, USB6 and so on. Amen.
With information: TechCrunch.