USB4 spec announced, will be based upon Thunderbolt 3

USB 4 Debuts With Twice the Throughput and Thunderbolt 3 Support

"The primary goal of USB is to deliver the best user experience combining data, display and power delivery over a user-friendly and robust cable and connector solution", said Brad Saunders, USB Promoter Group Chairman.

The USB Promoter Group says that USB4 will be backward compatible with previous iterations, including USB 3.2, Thunderbolt 3, and USB 2.0.

You may not know this, but Thunderbolt 3 is only strictly certified by Intel and it's good to know that they are open to the public and the use of this technology will be excused from licensing fees.

With USB4, Thunderbolt 3 is now "built-in" and that means a couple of great things just became much cheaper for device makers to include:100 watts of power on demand, those 40 Gbps transfer rates, and support for eight lanes of DisplayPort data which means two 4K HDR displays at 60 Hz or one 5K display is fully supported.

And there's simplicity. Once USB4 is implemented, there should be no more need for Thunderbolt 3 to be separate.




Will USB 3.2 Gen2x2 be dead on arrival?

For now, the USB Promoter Group, along with 50 companies, is focused on the final stages of the USB 4 draft specification. You can send nearly anything over USB as long as it is a supported protocol.

As with the current Thunderbolt 3 specification, USB 4 can daisy-chain external graphics card enclosure, two 4K monitors, and other Thunderbolt 3 accessories using a single cable connected to a PC. Right now, there are only 463 certified Thunderbolt 3 devices on the market. Another appealing facet is that Intel intends to integrate Thunderbolt 3 into upcoming 10nm processors, code-named "Ice Lake" and beyond. There are (or, more accurately, will be) three versions of "USB 3.2".

The promotor group comprises companies such as Apple, HP, Intel, and Microsoft. The event will provide detailed technical training on the new specification along with USB Type-C cable and USB Power Delivery training. "Even as the USB4 specification introduces a new underlying protocol, compatibility with existing USB 3.2, USB 2.0 and Thunderbolt 3 hosts and devices is supported; the resulting connection scales to the best mutual capability of the devices being connected".

- “Releasing the Thunderbolt protocol specification is a significant milestone for making todays simplest and most versatile port available to everyone, ” said Jason Ziller, General Manager, Client Connectivity Division at Intel. There is just one connector (Type-C), it supports Thunderbolt, and there is just one version rather than Gen 1, Gen 2, and Gen 2x2. USB4 promises to double the transfer speeds of USB 3.2 thanks in part to a critical move made by Intel.

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