The USB4 specification has been finalized, supported devices could launch in 2020

Polycount

TS Evangelist
Staff member

The specification is based on Thunderbolt and promises up to double the transfer speeds of existing USB specifications. We could see speeds leap from 20Gbps to 40Gbps in "certified" cables, according to the USB-IF. This is a tremendous improvement and one that could pave the way for an entirely new wave of high-speed devices.

As the USB-IF has noted in the past, 40Gbps speeds will allow users to do things like connect two 4K monitors at once, or run high-end external GPUs with ease, to name just a couple potential use cases.

Though the USB4 specification is now finalized, we still need to wait for device makers to create gadgets that will take advantage of it. Unfortunately, that process could take a while, and we wouldn't expect to see any USB4-powered consumer products (including monitors, thanks to USB4's hybrid data/display protocols) hit the market until at least early 2020.

It'll likely take even longer for mainstream motherboards, PC cases, and laptops to adopt the specification. Even now, many such devices still include only one or two USB 3.0 ports, let alone USB-C or 3.2 alternatives.

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Sooo, any actual details why this is better than TB3, which already exists and uses the same connector? Parts cost less, licensing costs less, tech easier to implement…? USB guys did a corporate takeover of Thunderbolt?

 
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Kashim

TS Addict
Too many manufacturers are still clinging to USB 2.0 and 3.0 for this new one to even make a dent. I would be happy if they would just make EVERY single USB connector type C (the one you can connect in any position for those who are not aware), I don't even care about speed that much.

Of course ideally we would want everything released to be USB 3.2 gen 2 by now, but that won't happen any time soon, so this new 4.0 spec ... yeah good luck seeing it in the wild any time soon. Some motherboards manufactured TODAY still have USB 2.0 ports on them, simply because it's cheaper. Personally, I would pay extra to NOT have any 2.0 ports on my next motherboard, but that's just me.
 
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picka

TS Booster
Reality is that few things need the speed this provides. A mouse and keyboard will be more than happy at USB2 specs, same for external sound card, same for peripherals like joysticks and other controllers. How many people use external GPUS or dual 4K displays?

While the speed is nice, focus should be on keeping the costs down so that device manufacturers actually use the spec. If it's like C spec then it'll be limited to 1 port in the back of the mobo.
 

Uncle Al

TS Evangelist
Ohhhhh .... the boys that make all those adapters and special cables are going to see a windfall on this one ... eventually.
 

Puiu

TS Evangelist
Sooo, any actual details why this is better than TB3, which already exists and uses the same connector? Parts cost less, licensing costs less, tech easier to implement…? USB guys did a corporate takeover of Thunderbolt?

Yes, it should be easier to implement by OEMs and other third parties (like AMD). USB didn't take over Thunderbolt, Intel just made it available to them royalty free in hopes that the protocol becomes the default one for every system. The certification program is still controlled by Intel.
 

ET3D

TechSpot Paladin
Sooo, any actual details why this is better than TB3, which already exists and uses the same connector?
It depends on what you see as 'better'. USB 4 isn't the same as Thunderbolt 3. Thunderbolt 3 is an optional part of USB 4 that USB device makers aren't required to implement. USB 4 and Thunderbolt 3 also have slightly different speeds, so likely won't be compatible by default. In this respect I'm guessing that existing Thunderbolt 3 devices won't be considered USB 4 devices (although they'd likely work with USB 4 implementations which implement Thunderbolt 3).

The short of it is, USB 4 is about as fast as Thunderbolt 3, adds the same capability to share protocols (like DisplayPort) on the same cable, and is generally equivalent to Thunderbolt 3 even when Thunderbolt 3 compatibility isn't implemented. It's better for device makers in that it doesn't require implementing specific extra protocols, so a device such as a phone could implement USB 4 without DisplayPort support, for example.
 

RandyBaumgadner

TS Rookie
The good folks at USB-IF are creating unnecessary incremental improvements in USB specifications in order to justify their own existence, if they had consumers manufacturers and efficiency in mind, they would create a future proof standard, instead of turning USB into some fast food I/O port.
 

Markoni35

TS Maniac
40 Gigabits per second?? OMG, that's 5 gigabytes per second. Who needs an M.2 slot anymore? I'll just stick my NVME directly into USB.
 
40 Gigabits per second?? OMG, that's 5 gigabytes per second. Who needs an M.2 slot anymore? I'll just stick my NVME directly into USB.
There's more latency with the additional USB overhead as opposed to a direct m.2 connection, but if you're using it for bulk storage for games, media, etc., I bet you wouldn't see a difference at all.
 

3ogdy

TS Rookie
I believe the actual reason behind the existence of the USB4 standard is the flush function the USB-IF would arguably enjoy getting. That's partly disguised under the "higher performing hardware" excuse.
USB 3.0. Cool.
USB 3.1
or
USB 3.1 Gen 1
or
USB 3.2 Gen 1x1
They're all names for the exact same spec.5Gbit.
Wait, what?
Then:
USB 3.1 Gen 2
or
USB 3.2 Gen 2x1
or
USB 3.2 Gen 1x2
All being 10Gbit USB.
Here was hope for a USB4.
Here we go with this, recently announced mess (August) :
USB4 Gen 2x1 (that's 10Gbit)
USB4 Gen 2x2
&
USB4 Gen 3x1 (both 20Gbit)
USB4 Gen 3x2 (40Gbit)

I'm saying :USB stands for Universal Serial Bus. Get your s*it together USB-IF. GET YOURSELVES TOGETHER.
 
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