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This Next-Gen USB Promises To Be Twice As Fast – Using Cables You Already Have

The next version of USB might be the best we have ever come across. The USB Promoter Group says that USB 4 version 2.0 will go to speeds up to 80 Gbps, double what the original USB 4, and even Thunderbolt 4, are capable of.

The actual technical specification from the USB Implementers Forum, which oversees the standard itself, hasn’t been announced yet. The Promoter Group writes in a press release: “Key characteristics of the updated USB4 solution include Up to 80 Gbps operation, based on a new physical layer architecture, using existing 40 Gbps USB Type-C passive cables and newly-defined 80 Gbps USB Type-C active cables” (emphasis theirs).

Balich didn’t explain how this advancement was technically possible but said that “this benefit was made a requirement when the new specification was developed and the specifics as to how 80Gbps signaling is accomplished will be disclosed once the final specification is released.” The USB DevDays developer events are slated for November 1st and 2nd in Seattle and November 15th and 16th in Seoul.

According to the USB Promoter Group, which is made up of companies like Intel, Apple, Microsoft, HP, and Texas Instruments, the USB-C and power delivery specs will be updated to “enable this higher level of data performance.” The USB 4 version 2.0 specification will also have updates that provide better speeds when you’re using USB 3.2 with improved support for DisplayPort and PCIe since it’ll be using the latest version of those standards.

USB 3.2 is actually a few different standards: USB 3.2 Gen 1 (AKA original USB 3.0), USB 3.2 Gen 2, USB 3.2 Gen 1×2, and USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 (which is the full-fat 20 Gbps spec). USB 4 kind of simplified this since it basically had the same specs and capabilities as Thunderbolt 3.

Not that we’ll likely have to deal with that anytime soon. The press release says that the update is “specifically targeted to developers at this time,” with final branding and marketing guides (including things like logos) to come later.