USB4 will come with Thunderbolt 3 support - and speeds

USB 4 Debuts With Twice the Throughput and Thunderbolt 3 Support

The standard organization USB-IF has recently announced it's planning to cancel the USB 3.0/3.1 naming.

Hot on the heels of last week's USB 3.2 news - where the USB-IF tried to simplify consumer choices as we go forward - there is news today on another new USB standard, USB4. However, there is a bit of a sour note becuase that's exactly the same speed as Thunderbolt 3, meaning that there will be no enhancement for current Thunderbolt 3 devotees on a standard that will be several years old already.

With USB4, Thunderbolt 3 is now "built-in" and that means a couple of great things just became much cheaper for device makers to include:100 watts of power on demand, those 40 Gbps transfer rates, and support for eight lanes of DisplayPort data which means two 4K HDR displays at 60 Hz or one 5K display is fully supported. Also Thunderbolt 3 will now be available to more companies to use - without the fees formerly attached to the speedy technology - so companies have one fewer excuse for why it's not in their products.

Will USB 3.2 Gen2x2 be dead on arrival?

At present, the entire version of the USB 4 standard is still being revised.

This will be fixed with USB 4.0, which will use one standard connector and bring the multiple connectivity standards together.

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Secondly, the same devices can have ports that are Thunderbolt compatible and some ports that aren't Thunderbolt compatible - even though they look the same. Another appealing facet is that Intel intends to integrate Thunderbolt 3 into upcoming 10nm processors, code-named "Ice Lake" and beyond.

Yep, double the performance (40Gbps) compared with the fastest version of USB 3.x which offered 20Gbps.

Beyond the raw speed increase, though, USB4 ditches the Type-A connector that dominates the landscape and wholeheartedly embraces Type-C, which is a smaller and reversible connector as shown in the image at the top of this article.

As The Verge points out, the USB-IF expects manufacturers to take around 18 months to start producing USB4 devices once the specification is finalized.

In an effort to make Thunderbolt ubiquitous, Intel is sharing its TB protocol with the USB Promoter Group. And those cables will need to be USB-C cables, so this will hasten the death of the old-style USB-A interface. USB 3.0 (max 5Gbps) is now known as USB 3.2 gen 1, while USB 3.1 (max 10Gbps) is known as USB 3.2 gen 2.

Ultimately, relinquishing control over Thunderbolt 3 is indeed a "significant milestone for making today's simplest and most versatile port available to everyone", as Intel General Manager for Client Connectivity Jason Ziller said in a statement.

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