The USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF) has announced recently that it has finalized the technical specs for USB4. These specs will soon be making their way to the designers, engineers, and manufacturers.
What does that mean? It means that you can expect the very first USB4 products to be available in the market sometime in 2020. The highlight of the new standard, USB4, is the dual-lane 40Gbps speed that equals the Thunderbolt 3’s transfer rate and doubling that of the USB 3.2’s. The new standard, USB4, will make use of the same form factor as USB type-C. Furthermore, it will also be backward compatible with USB 3.2, USB 2.0, and Thunderbolt 3.
Put simply; this implies that you will be able to make use of any existing USB type-C device with a machine that houses a USB4 bus. The new connection will be similar to USB3 – that is to say that it will support both data and display protocols. You can expect to see a larger number of monitors that will feature USB connections apart from the HDMI ports.
Consumers have been frustrated by the contrast between Thunderbolt 3 and USB3. Despite being a ubiquitous connection, USB3 carries out transfer of data at half the speed (that too at its best) as opposed to Thunderbolt 3. USB4 will be merging the two standards and shall create a two-lane 40Gbps connection, thus rendering it as a unified connection across platforms and devices. The 40Gbps transfer rate of Thunderbolt 3 has been the break that creative professionals and power users have been looking forward to!
It has enabled streamlined video editing, animation, and modeling workflows. It has also allowed for the introduction of new category-products such as external GPUs. With Thunderbolt 3 as a universal connection, these capabilities will be made available to the everyday consumers, thus making data backups and transferring a hassle-free, quick, and convenient process.