USB4, as it’s now styled (versus USB 4), was announced in March with a few promises regarding features, but now the actual technical specifications have been released to anyone who cares to inspect them. It’s another step in the process of bringing a major standard from idea to reality.
USB 4 doubles the peak data transfer rate from 20Gbps to 40Gbps. It uses the same dual-lane architecture as USB 3.2 but doubles individual lane-transfer speeds to 20Gbps to reach a cumulative 40Gbps. You will need USB 4 certified cables to take advantage of these speeds. Of course, Thunderbolt 3 has supported 40Gbps transfer for a while now, and that brings us to the next bit.
The standard has backward compatibility all the way to USB 2.0, but the bigger addition is Thunderbolt 3 support. Since USB 4 is built on top of Intel’s Thunderbolt 3, future hardware should be able to make use of those higher speeds on older Thunderbolt-compatible devices.
USB4 doubles speeds compared to today’s fastest USB 3.2 by incorporating Intel’s speedy Thunderbolt technology that you already see on high-end laptops and peripherals. The USB Implementers Forum announced the completion of the technical specification Tuesday, a move that frees hardware and software engineers to get cracking building the actual products to support it.
Today’s USB 3.2, which enables data transfer speeds up to 20 gigabits per second, is still something of a rarity; most of us have earlier versions of the technology that works at 5Gbps or 10Gbps. USB4 promises a speed boost to 40Gbps, helpful for things like using multiple external displays or fetching files from external hard drives.
In short, USB4 promises to make all those cable connections faster, more useful and easier to use. And if all goes to plan, it should start making it safer for device makers to stop offering devices, chargers and other devices that use old-style rectangular USB-A or the smaller USB Micro B ports. That should help spread new USB into more chargers, laptops, airplane seat backs, power strips, cars and electronic devices.
It’s not clear exactly when devices like controller chips, external hard drives, laptops and dongles will arrive with USB4 support. But when the USB-IF announced USB4, executives said they expected devices 12 to 18 months afterward. That would mean USB4 devices could be here in late 2020.
Source: Android Authority
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