Breaking News

Next-gen USB promises to be twice as fast using the cables you already have

Next-gen USB promises to be twice as fast using the cables you already have

The next version of USB may be one of the fastest connectors we've seen yet. USB Promoter Group says that USB 4 version 2 will be capable of speeds of up to 80Gbps, which is capable of native USB 4 and even Thunderbolt 4.

The actual technical specifications from the USB Implementers Forum, which is in charge of the standard itself, haven't been released yet, but the details that are coming out today are a bit surprising. The promoter group writes in a press release that the USB 4 version 2 cables will use a USB-C connector, which is to be expected, but the real bang is this line: "Key features of the updated USB 4 solution include: A new physical layer architecture based on operation, up to 80 Gbps using existing 40 Gbps USB Type-C passive cables and the newly defined 80 Gbps USB Type-C active cables," (emphasis them).

USB-IF spokesman Joe Balich confirmed that if I go out now and buy a USB 4 cable that was rated for 40Gbps, it will be capable of twice that speed in the future. That is, frankly, extremely impressive. USB has always been good about backwards compatibility (and USB 4 version 2 is no exception), but being able to use the same cable and still get the major benefits of the new spec is another level.

Blych did not specify how this was technically possible, but he said that "this advantage had become a necessity as new specifications were developed and how 80 Gbps signaling was accomplished after the final specification was released." went." will be revealed." This will apparently be preceded by the USB DevDays developer event, which is scheduled to take place in Seattle on November 1 and 2, and in Seoul on November 15 and 16.

According to the USB Promoter Group, which is made up of companies such as Intel, Apple, Microsoft, HP and Texas Instruments, the USB-C and Power Delivery specs will be updated to "enable this high level of data performance." The USB 4 Version 2 specification will explicitly include updates that deliver better speeds when using USB 3.2 - the promoter group promises more than 20 Gbps - as well as improved support for DisplayPort and PCIe. Will use the latest version. They're standard (the first USB 4 lets you use DisplayPort 1.4a only when "tunneling" or carrying a DisplayPort and USB signal at the same time).

However, in the end, we have to talk about the name. Labeling it as "Version 2" of USB 4 is an odd move, when the jump in speed certainly seems like it should be called USB 5. The standard has been confusing for a few years now, though - USB 3.2 is actually a somewhat different standard: USB 3.2 Gen 1 (aka the original USB 3.0), USB 3.2 Gen 2, USB 3.2 Gen 1×2, and USB 3.2 Gen 2× 2 (which is a full-fat 20 Gbps spec). USB 4 simplified this because it basically had the same specs and capabilities as Thunderbolt 3, but now it looks like we're going back to a slightly more confusing naming scheme - cable compatibility can certainly help, but I can certainly see the device spec sheet has been a bit of mine for a while.

Not that we have to deal with this anytime soon. The press release states that the update is "specifically targeted at developers at this time", with a final branding and marketing guide (including things like logos) to come later. Still, it's exciting to see what's in the pipeline and imagine being able to transfer a 4K Blu-ray's worth of data in about five seconds.

No comments