USB 4.0 specs bring Thunderbolt 3 speeds to consumer devices
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A little over a week ago, the USB Implementers’ Forum was announcing the USB 3.2 specs and the new, arguably confusing, naming scheme for the 3.x family. However, with Intel announcing extended support for the Thunderbolt 3 interface on the upcoming Ice Lake CPUs and releasing the specs for increased adoption, the upcoming USB 4.0 standard is set to get a significant speed boost that matches the latest Thunderbolt 3 iteration.
The USB Promoter Group has just announced an overview of the upcoming USB 4.0 standard, while the full specs are scheduled to be ratified some time in mid-2019, so consumer products integrating the new connectors should arrive in 2H 2019 together with Intel’s Ice Lake platform. All USB 4.0 connectors will be based on the current USB-C ports with Thunderbolt support and they will be backwards-compatible with the older USB 2.0/3.x and Thunderbolt 3 interfaces. Just like Thunderbolt 3 and HDMI 2.1, USB 4.0 will feature transfer speeds of up to 40 Gbps and will support multiple data and display protocols like Display Port 1.4, plus advanced power delivery for devices that support fast charging.
Over 50 companies are now actively supporting the adoption of the USB 4.0 standard, and the full specs should be detailed at this year’s USB Developer Days in September.