USB4 is coming! Here’s what’s new!

by Matt Brauer

The new USB standard has just been officially confirmed a few days ago and it promises some major changes in regards to speed and compatibility. What does the connector look like? How fast will it be and what technology does it implement? Here is what you can expect.

The technology

The USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF) is responsible for the specifications of all USB standards. For USB 4.0 they decided to base the architecture on the Intel made Thunderbolt protocol. This means you will get the same advantages of Thunderbolt 3 plus a bit more. USB4 will work with Thunderbolt 3, USB 3.2 and USB 2.0 hosts and devices, making sure the best possible mutual capability of the devices connected is used. Multiple data and display protocols can be connected and entertained simultaneously while utilising the highest aggregate bandwidth possible. You can hook up multiple monitors and devices at the same time without any one reserving more bandwidth than it needs.

USB 4 will fortunately use the same connector as USB C

New speed, same connector

With USB4 type cables you will get transfer speeds of up to 40Gbps! This is twice as fast as the USB 3.2 (generation 2) standard we have now, thanks to the underlying Thunderbolt 3 technology that Intel freed up for use. USB4 will use the USB C connector that you may know from the new MacBooks or many Android smartphones. This means one connector for all your devices ranging from Smartphones, Bluetooth speakers to PCs, Macs and many more. But don’t expect all devices to suddenly utilise this new technology. The first USB4 devices will likely come out in 2020 and then it will still take some more time to spread, just as with USB 3.2.

We at MacCrunch cross our fingers that Apple may eventually convert to USB4 for all their devices so you can use one connector for everything and don’t have to worry about different cables anymore.

What do you think about this new standard? Would you like one unified connector or are you fine with using multiple technologies? Let us know in the comments below!

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