Just when you didn’t think the world of USB specifications couldn’t get any more ridiculous, welcome to USB4. It was originally spoken of in May but now the USB Implementors Forum (USB-IF) has shared more information. In fact, it says that development of the specification for USB4 is now complete.
CNET was able to glean the details which include a transfer speed of up to 40Gbps. That’s twice as fast as the 20Gbps that USB 3.2 can offer. USB 3.2 is already a minefield when it comes to making sure data and power transfer capabilities are correct, and the addition fo USB4 is likely to add extra confusion.
Still, there’s some interesting information on USB4 that might make it worth checking out, including the fact that it will offer two-lane operation using existing USB-C cabling.
It will also be backward compatible with USB 3.2, USB 2.0, and Thunderbolt 3 although the types of connectors used will be a bit of a complication. Remember, USB-C cabling isn’t USB-A. But that’s a tale of woe for another story.
The USB-IF has also confirmed that USB4 will allow for dongles to be produced that can then offer additional USB4 ports. That will be important considering the likelihood that Apple will one day make a notebook with just one USB4 port on it.
USB4 should help with a better to juggle lots of different data streams – multiplexing in industry terms – so you can plug multiple USB-C devices into a single hub.
Anyone building USB4 devices also must include the USB Power Delivery technology, which controls how devices negotiate charging and enables much higher charging rates for power-hungry devices like laptops
Who doesn’t want yet another version of USB?
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