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The USB Promoter Group has announced USB 4 is coming. Here’s what we know about it

by Felix Omondi
usb 4

March 4, 2019, the USB Promoter Group announced the next generation USB 4 architecture. Further saying, they are working on its commercial roll out.

While some parts of the world are still graveling with USB 2.0 and perhaps few USB 3.0. It is fair to say not that many people across the world have enjoyed the speed and convenience that comes with the currently available cutting-edge USB standards; the USB Type C.

One that gives you both data and power transmission. Thereby enabling the user to use the same USB C port to charge their device as well as transfer data. Though in some devices, the USB C port only does data transfers, and in just special devices does it handle both.

The new USB 4

If you thought data transfers with USB C is fast, well things are about to get a whole lot faster with USB 4. Its architecture will increase data transfer speeds by tenfolds and will also include Thunderbolt 3 and work with various currently available standards.

The currently popular USB 3.0 top out at 5GBps, but the new USB 4 is said will max out at 40GBps. The speed pump will be between 100% to 700% on USB (non-Thunderbolt) connection depending on the type of ports you are currently using.

The new USB standard will also be compatible with Thunderbolt 3, USB 3.2, and USB 2.0. The USB Promoter Group also announced that Thunderbolt 3 will also be availed to more companies for use; they are scraping off the high fees usually needed to be paid before companies can adopt such speed technologies.

The integration of Thunderbolt 3 into USB 4 will enable the simultaneous transfer of data and display protocols. That could enable clever connections such as daisy-chaining your 4K monitor and other Thunderbolt 3 devices, say an external GPU enclosure storage. Using only but one cable connected to your PC.

The official release date

The USB Promoter Group announcement fell short of mentioning the exact date of USB 4 release for commercial use. However, according to a press statement, the consortium is on “final stages of review” by over 50 companies.

The press release pegs the specification on “to be published around the middle of 2019.” In case you haven’t realized yet. That release coincides exactly with the expected date of release of an updated version of current USB C specifications. Perhaps they will make the next USB C update compatible with its successor, the USB 4. All informed guesses point to CES 2020 as the possible debut event for USB 4.

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