USB 4 Is Coming: What It Means For You

USB 4 Debuts With Twice the Throughput and Thunderbolt 3 Support

USB 4 Debuts With Twice the Throughput and Thunderbolt 3 Support

Basically, all TB3 ports can also handle USB, but standard USB Type C ports cannot work with Thunderbolt 3.

To further expand the range of devices using the Thunderbolt 3 specification, Intel has contributed its protocol to the USB standards committee, which integrated the protocol into USB 4. Intel started certifying devices with support for Thunderbolt 3 in 2015, and in 2017 it chose to open the standard.

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". A new industry standard for the popular cable specification has just been announced by the USB Promoter Group and it's going to change the way we hook up devices and transfer data.

In an effort to make Thunderbolt ubiquitous, Intel is sharing its TB protocol with the USB Promoter Group. Coincident with the release of the USB4 specification, the release of an updated USB Type-C Specification will be made to comprehend USB4 bus discovery, configuration and performance requirements. Intel says that current 40Gbps-certified USB cables will also be compatible with this new format. The USB Promoter Group, the standards body in charge of the USB specification, has formally introduced the USB4 specification in draft form today, with hopes of finalizing the standard within the next few months. Previously, companies implementing TB3 had to pay royalties to Intel because it was a proprietary technology. There is a lot of confusion surrounding the upcoming USB 3.2, and hopefully USB4 will restore sanity to the world of USB. 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.

Now You: What is your take on the USB standard and the new USB4?

"Releasing the Thunderbolt protocol specification is a significant milestone for making today's simplest and most versatile port available to everyone".

It is expected that the USB-IF will come out with more tech specs regarding USB4 at around Computex time.

Brad Saunders, USB Promoter Group Chairman offers the following statement.

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.

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.

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