Windows 11 now supports USB4 at 80Gbps, also known as USB4 2.0

Daniel Sims

Posts: 1,370   +43
Staff
Why it matters: Devices utilizing standard USB4 connections aren't quite ubiquitous yet but are becoming more common. The USB Promoter Group unveiled specifications for a faster variant of USB4 over a year ago, but compatible products aren't widely available and Windows has only just begun to support the standard. Meanwhile, its counterpart Thunderbolt 5 is also approaching.

With the latest public update, Windows 11 has gained support for USB4 connections at 80Gbps, also known as USB4 2.0. The upgrade comes with OS builds 22621.3235 and 22631.3235, which users should receive through an automatic update this week.

Although the USB4 2.0 specification was finalized in late 2022, products supporting 80Gbps connections have been slow to appear. The original variant of USB4, which can reach 40Gbps, is still considered cutting-edge, as compatible products began emerging in the last year or so.

Last summer, MSI unveiled a USB4 40Gbps add-in-board, and some of the earliest high-end USB4 docking stations appeared. Late last year, Adata debuted the industry's first USB4 external SSD with 3,800 MB/s write speeds and active cooling.

Also see: How USB Works: From 'Plug and Pray' to Being Everywhere

The Windows update suggests devices capable of 80Gbps connections might become widely available this year. Certain conditions enable USB4 2.0 hardware to transfer data at 120Gbps in one direction and 40Gbps in the other. Intel plans to start allowing developers to work with Thunderbolt 5 – a closely related specification with similar capabilities – starting in the second quarter of 2024, so devices supporting it may also begin appearing later this year.

Another notable addition in the new Windows update enables the Snipping Tool to edit the most recent photos taken on a user's connected Android device. By allowing the PC to access an Android device under Settings > Bluetooth & devices > Mobile devices > Manage devices, users can receive an instant notification when the device takes a new picture or screenshot.

Microsoft appears to be ramping up the Windows-Android integration, too. Insider channels recently received the ability to use Android devices as webcams, mimicking Apple's Continuity system.

USB4 2.0 isn't the only new connection protocol Windows is preparing for. The Insider Canary channel recently gained Wi-Fi 7 support, allowing connections up to four times faster than Wi-Fi 6 using a broader array of signal bands. The Wi-Fi 7 standard was finalized in January, and fully certified devices will likely start emerging over the next couple of years.

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USB 420? Nice!

standards_2x.png
 
"USB 2.0"..."USB 3.2"..."USB4 2.0"
The faster USB gets the more confusing the naming scheme becomes.

Especially while companies are still making "Hi-Speed USB 2.0" products.
 
I love the douchebag marketing using the Gbps measurement instead of GBps.... 80Gbps = 8 GB/s but they're banking on moorons to not notice..
 
Still only up to 4x PCIe lanes, what a waste
No? USB 4 2.0 double bandwidth to 80 Gbps. That's PCIe 3.0x8/4.0x4 speed, instead of 3.0x4 of TB3/4. And in async mode, its 120gb down, or PCIe 3.0x12/4,0x6 speed.

I swear people just dont read these days......
I love the douchebag marketing using the Gbps measurement instead of GBps.... 80Gbps = 8 GB/s but they're banking on moorons to not notice..
GigaBit has been the standard for measuring port speed since.....forever? Ethernet, USB, thunderbolt, HDMI, Displayport, serial ports, ece.

You new to this?
 
I know division by 8 is challenging for those educated in the last 20 years, but xxx bits/s has been around forever. Ask chapGPT how to convert to bytes/s if you are mentally challenged.
 
I want to kick the people that create the naming of version conventions in the nuts.

They are purposefully confusing so that hardware manufacturers can use the slowest speed and still seems cool and new. If you had a USB 4 = 40 GBPs and USB 5 = 80 Gbps mandatory, then it wouldn’t be confusing but they don’t want that ($$$)
 
The naming convention is terrible. I mean this is labeled as USB 4.x, and I don't see why they can't just call it 4.1 or 4.2. .
 
11 years after building my Z87 rig I am still not quite sure which "gen" of USB 3 my ASUS Maximus VI Hero motherboard has got on board and what is the bandwidth thereof.

Once I tried to look it up online and rapidly lost interest after I had to go through 5 or 6 "gens" or "generations" of USB 3.0 in order to find out which "gen" I got.

Anyway, I don't think it makes one iota of difference which "gen" I have got and I am also pretty sure that USB 4.0 is completely useless for me and like 90% of the ppl out there too.
 
11 years after building my Z87 rig I am still not quite sure which "gen" of USB 3 my ASUS Maximus VI Hero motherboard has got on board and what is the bandwidth thereof.

Once I tried to look it up online and rapidly lost interest after I had to go through 5 or 6 "gens" or "generations" of USB 3.0 in order to find out which "gen" I got.

Anyway, I don't think it makes one iota of difference which "gen" I have got and I am also pretty sure that USB 4.0 is completely useless for me and like 90% of the ppl out there too.
It does after I drop a couple Grover Clevelands on my mobo,cpu, ram,cables, external ssd,etc. so I can copy my mp4s 2 seconds faster.
 
The USB 4.0 cards require a Z90 Intel motherboard at this time so adding this capability is going to require the purchase of a new computer and one that has the necessary power connections for the card. It will take years for there to be a full transition to USB 4 and considerable expense for companies and individuals.
 
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