USB Is About To Get A Big Speed Upgrade

Your existing USB4 or Thunderbolt 4 cable can go up to 80Gbps with this new update.
(credit: user3802032/Freepik)

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Most of us have at least a few USB-C cables lying around to charge our devices. But did you know there are different types of USB-C cables? Some cables are faster in transfer speed and can carry more power. Also, it’s not just for charging your devices; you can transfer files between phones or a PC; connect your PC to a monitor; connect to an external GPU; and others. The next big upgrade to USB-C is just around the corner.

The Verge reported that the USB Promoter Group claims that USB 4 version 2.0 will be capable of speeds up to 80Gbps, which is twice as fast as Thunderbolt 4 and even the original USB 4.

However, the USB Implementers Forum, which is in charge of the standard itself, has not yet made public the actual technical specification.

But the USB Promoter Group said that:

Key characteristics of the updated USB4 solution include: Up to 80 Gbps operation, based on a new physical layer architecture, using existing 40 Gbps USB Type-C passive cables and newly-defined 80 Gbps USB Type-C active cables.

According to Joe Balich, a representative for the USB-IF (Implementers Forum), a USB 4 cable that is currently certified for 40Gbps will be able to achieve double that speed in the future. So you don’t have to buy a new USB cable. Yeay!

To “allow this greater degree of data performance,” the USB Promoter Group claims that the USB-C and power delivery specifications will be updated. The USB 4 version 2.0 specification will reportedly also contain upgrades that offer faster speeds when utilising USB 3.2. They said the speed will be over 20Gbps, as well as enhanced compatibility for DisplayPort and PCIe as it will be using the most recent versions of those standards.

However, it will be some time before consumers get to experience this significant improvement. The update is “specifically targeted to developers at this time,” according to the promoter group, and the full branding and marketing guidelines will be released later.

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