USB Implementers Forum announced USB 4 which operates over USB Type-C connector and able to provide data transfer speeds up to 40 Gbps.
The USB 4 architecture was built based on Intel’s Thunderbolt protocol specification since it introduces a new underlying protocol, it is compatible with existing USB 3.2, USB 2.0 and Thunderbolt 3 hosts.
Three key Improvements with USB 4
- Maximum Speed up to 40 Gbps
- Universal Compatibility with Thunderbolt 3 devices
- Improved Resource Allocation
Maximum Speed up to 40 Gbps
USB 4 doubles the data transfer speed of existing USB 3.2, with USB 3.2 the maximum speed is 20 Gbps, whereas USB 4 can reach up to 40 Gbps.
“The difference with USB4 versus USB 3.2 is that USB4 is a connection-oriented, tunneling architecture designed to combine multiple protocols onto a single physical interface so that the total speed and performance of the USB4 Fabric can be dynamically shared.”
It is capable of transferring data at a speed of 20Gbps over two separate lines. you can achieve the two-line operation with your existing Type-C cables, but 40 Gbps can be achieved only with certified cables. The USB4 hub supports 20G USB4 operation (Gen2x2) and 40G USB4 operation (Gen3x2)
If you want to connect with USB 3.1 ports, this can ve achieved by using an adapter, while using adapter the speed will dropdown.
Compatibility with Thunderbolt 3 devices
USB 4 ports compatible with USB 3.2, USB 2.0 and Thunderbolt 3, the Thunderbolt 3 is an Intel standard, you won’t find that in any other motherboards.
Now Intel providing Thunderbolt 3 spec for free, so now with any host manufacture’s USB 4 device is not required to royalties to intel.
“We do expect PC vendors to broadly support Thunderbolt backward compatibility because most of what they need is already built into the USB 4 design,” Saunders said to Tomshardware.”
“It’s based on the same technology so we do anticipate a high rate of adoption there, but the phone guys will probably choose not to add the extra little bit they need to be backward compatible.”
Improved Resource Allocation
The key thing is the resource allocation, it can dynamically adjust the available resources if a video and data transferred in the same connection.
The USB 4 also brings enhancements with USB Power Delivery (USB-PD) extension, now it supports charging up to 100 watts.
According to Saunders, the “DisplayPort alt mode can split the bandwidth between USB data and video data exactly 50/50, and HDMI alt mode doesn’t allow simultaneous USB data at all.”
When it will be available?
We can expect the USB 4 spec devices will be available by 2020, to note still the latest current standard, USB 3.2, was not yet widely adopted.
Brad Saunders said to Tom’s Hardware, that “we don’t plan to get into a 4.0, 4.1, 4.2 kinds of the iterative path,” he said. “When and if it goes faster, we’ll simply have the faster version of the certification and the brand.”