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: technology will even reach even 40 Gb / s (gigabits per second) in data transfer.
The new speed is one of the three main features of USB4. The 40 Gb / s limit is twice the throughput that USB 3.2, the latest technology to date, can achieve:
- USB 3.0: 5 Gb / s
- USB 3.1: 10 Gb / s
- USB 3.2: 20 Gb / s
- USB4: 40 Gb / s
The 40 Gb / s brings 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 range of such a high speed.
You may recall that in 2017 Intel announced the decision to stop charging royalties on 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 separate data transmission standards for similar purposes.
See, the Thunderbolt 3 works at rates of up to 40 Gb / s and defaults to a USB-C port, which is why Intel simply reused these features on USB4 (because it would be crazy to create another connector). The effect of this is that if you have a Thunderbolt 3-based external hard drive, for example, it should work on USB4 connections.
Make it clear: In addition to Thunderbolt 3, USB4 is backwards compatible with previous versions of USB.
The third notable feature of the new version is data flow optimization to prevent video streams from suffering bottlenecks. In addition, USB4 maintains support for USB Power Delivery, a 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 the final specifications and the industry's adoption of technology there is a long way to go. The first USB4-based devices should only hit the market by 2020 – and look there.
If you find it strange, know that, yes, USB4 is written anyway, all together. This is an attempt to correct the name mess that came up with previous versions of the technology.
Really mess. When USB 3.2 was announced, USB-IF began 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 info: TechCrunch.