Just last week the USB Implementers Forum announced USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 which doubles the data transfer speeds of USB 3.1 Gen 2 which maxed out at 10 Gbps. While the first cables and devices supporting the new USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 standard with 20 Gbps data transfer speeds aren’t expected to come out till later this year, Intel has revealed some of the details regarding the upcoming USB4 spec.
The USB Promoter Group isn’t quite ready to reveal every last detail regarding USB4 until later in 2019, but Intel has shared that the new spec will deliver 40 Gbps data transfers over dual channels (similar to USB 3.2 Gen 2×2). Intel also claims that USB4 will include Thunderbolt 3 since the company has finally decided on an open licensing agreement that all device and accessory manufacturers will be able to use. There are currently only 463 certified Thunderbolt devices, but Intel is hoping that the open licensing agreement will dramatically increase that number (and Intel’s bottom line) once USB4 makes it way to market.
“Releasing the Thunderbolt protocol specification is a significant milestone for making today’s simplest and most versatile port available to everyone,” said Jason Ziller, General Manager, Client Connectivity Division at Intel. “By collaborating with the USB Promoter Group, we’re opening the doors for innovation across a wide range of devices and increasing compatibility to deliver better experiences to consumers.”
The USB Promoter Group has also stated that USB4 will be backward compatible with USB2 and USB3 and would coincide with an “updated USB Type-C Specification will be made to comprehend USB4 bus discovery, configuration and performance requirements.”
Banding for USB4 isn’t yet nailed down, but we’re hoping that they’ll come up with something a little more palatable than USB 3.2 Gen 2×2.