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USB 4 will double the speed of USB 3.2 to 40Gbps

By midian182 · 17 replies
Mar 4, 2019
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  1. That 40Gbps speed has been available to users of Thunderbolt 3 for a few years now. Back in 2017, Intel said it would be making the protocol royalty free for chip makers and device manufacturers. That’s finally happening, with the technology being integrated into USB 4.

    As with the current Thunderbolt 3 specification, USB 4 can daisy-chain external graphics card enclosure, two 4K monitors, and other Thunderbolt 3 accessories using a single cable connected to a PC. USB 4 will be compatible with USB 2.0 and 3.2, too.

    “The primary goal of USB is to deliver the best user experience combining data, display and power delivery over a user-friendly and robust cable and connector solution,” said Brad Saunders, USB Promoter Group Chairman. “The USB4 solution specifically tailors bus operation to further enhance this experience by optimizing the blend of data and display over a single connection and enabling the further doubling of performance.”

    Last week, the USB-IF revealed USB 3.2-capable controllers that allow 20Gbps speeds (10Gbps per lane) would be available later this year. The first USB 3.2 chips are likely to arrive on high-end motherboards this summer, though the peripherals that take advantage of this standard will take longer to get here.

    Intel has already said it plans to include Thunderbolt 3 support directly in its upcoming 10nm Ice Lake processors, meaning they could be the first chips to support USB 4.

    The full USB 4 specification will be published in the second half of this year, but we likely won’t see any devices for another year and a half.

    Permalink to story.

  2. xxLCxx

    xxLCxx TS Addict Posts: 231   +153

    Great! USB3 just about made it (not really, as there are so many sub-standards that it became fragmented) and you're throwing in the next bone already.
    Somebody loves to sell us cables and plugs, it seems.
  3. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 12,795   +1,510

    Be advised: these improvements to USB will ONLY be available where the device has a USB type-C connector.
  4. erickmendes

    erickmendes TS Evangelist Posts: 567   +246

    I want a USB 4 pen drive
  5. TripGun

    TripGun TS Rookie

    Good time to invest in GPU incorporated VR so you can interface easily with a basic system and still get a good experience.
  6. sac39507

    sac39507 TS Addict Posts: 248   +93

    I recently installed a pci-e USB 3.1 gen 2 card for my pc hoping there were USB 3.1 gen 2 flash drives for incredible speed transfers but I can't even find any available. The products can't even catch up to the technology so it's so useless. I know there some devices out there but not widely available.
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2019
    ForgottenLegion and xxLCxx like this.
  7. Dustyn

    Dustyn TS Booster Posts: 101   +39

    I want a USB 4 fan.
    madboyv1 likes this.
  8. QuantumPhysics

    QuantumPhysics TS Evangelist Posts: 1,150   +838

    I don't see Apple moving from Lightning to USBC for the iPhone.

    I could be wrong, but I just don't see them giving up that revenue stream. They could beef up the lightning spec to make it as fast as USBC.
  9. poohbear

    poohbear TS Maniac Posts: 282   +201

    "Intel has already said it plans to include Thunderbolt 3 support directly in its upcoming 10nm Ice Lake processors, meaning they could be the first chips to support USB 4."

    They have been working on their 10nm chips since forever. I'm sure by the time they come out we'll already have quantum computing.
    xxLCxx and iamcts like this.
  10. Intel's 10nm is vaporware at this point. Meanwhile, AMD is full steam ahead with their 7nm chips.

    It's crazy to think that Intel is falling behind when they can spend many times what AMD can on R&D.
    ForgottenLegion and xxLCxx like this.
  11. vincentyu

    vincentyu TS Booster Posts: 33   +13

    Name suggestion: USB 3.3 gen 2x3 tb4 by the USB-IF bureaucracy
    madboyv1 and Puiu like this.
  12. fktech

    fktech TS Maniac Posts: 522   +136

    Improved speed is ALWAYS right around the next corner.
  13. ForgottenLegion

    ForgottenLegion TS Guru Posts: 382   +386

    Can we have a minimum speed requirement for USB 4?
    Or a class system like with SD cards.

    There's so many USB 3.0 flash drives which perform at USB 2.0 speeds. Getting real world results prior to purchase is problematic at best.
    Danny101 likes this.
  14. Bp968

    Bp968 TS Booster Posts: 94   +76

    You can find plenty of very fast usb 3.0/3.1 flash drives. There are even a few usb-c models now. Their all just quite expensive because there isnt much market for them. You could buy a usb to SD card adapter and use it like a pen drive since very fast SD and microSD cards are getting very cheap.

    If I want to transfer a big file and cant do it online I often use my phone. 200+GB mSD cards are cheap now and android phones (unlike apple) support mSD cards giving me plenty of space. It makes a great pen drive when needed.

    Id say the main usefulness of the newer standard isn't its single device speed, its the power delivery, the multi device support (monitors, hubs, etc) and the total bandwidth which allows it to be used as a single cable solution for VR, monitors, networking, etc.

    I know I can't wait for the day I can connect a monitor with a single cable from my PC that pipes in power, data(usb hub) and video (including high resolution and high refresh rates). The same for VR headsets, one cable. Hopefully TB3/USB4 will get us at least closer.

    Personally I'm still hoping to see a wholesale move from legacy USB ports to USB-C. I was disappointed that my 8700k build only supported 2 USB-C and like 8 USB 2/3 ports (USB-A connectors I believe their called). I'd love to see USB-C ports mostly replace A ports.
    xxLCxx likes this.
  15. sac39507

    sac39507 TS Addict Posts: 248   +93

    Yes you can find USB 3.0/3.1 but 3.0, 3.1, and 3.1 generation 1 are all synonyms for the same technology. 3.1 generation 2 is what is lacking. If you research it, if it doesn't specifically state that it is gen. 2, then it's gen 1 and you are not getting the 10 gbs speed.
  16. Bp968

    Bp968 TS Booster Posts: 94   +76

    Your talking 400-500MB/s vs 1000MB/s real world max performance and thats throughput not IOPS (USB takes some hits in its IOPS performance). What exactly are you doing that your having issues with needing *more* than 400-500MB/s for a external USB stick? Not to mention the cost factor. To support 1000MB/s throughput your going to need a NVMe level ssd controller and good quality flash ram, both of which are expensive. There just isn't much market for a 150-200$ 512gb USB stick.

    If you really need that you can buy a usb 3.1 gen 2 NVMe external adapter for 40-50$ and toss a NVMe drive in it. If you used the intel 660p you could do a 1TB setup for 150-170$. Not exactly cheap but sounds like what your after. Just look at prices on CFexpress and XQD memory cards for an idea of what faster external memory ends up costing (for now anyway).

    The main advantage of usb 3.1/3.2/TB3 is multiple device aggregation (1 port for power, video and audio for a VR headset for example), external monitors, hopefully 10gb/s networking at some point, and hopefully at some point single cable external 3.5" drives (usb-c with PD should easily support 12v to an external HDD).
  17. Athlonite

    Athlonite TS Booster Posts: 130   +32

    That's actually capable of running at or close to the USB4.0 spec not some USB3.0 stick that still runs at worse than USB2.0 speeds please
    erickmendes likes this.
  18. sac39507

    sac39507 TS Addict Posts: 248   +93

    I know there are options to do so and I mentioned that. My point is that there are no mainstream options that a non technical average joe could just pick up at bestbuy. My other point is why progress and advance the technology if the current or previous version doesn't even have wide support and already is capable of doing what is needed now.

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