Editor’s take: Attaining 80 Gbps of bandwidth over copper cabling is a formidable feat, however passive cables able to these speeds can be restricted to below 1 meter. In the meantime, the naming conference is as horrible as you’d anticipate for a USB specification, as much less technically-inclined customers may confuse it with USB 2.0, a regular launched over 20 years in the past that tops out at 480 Mbps.
The USB Promoter Group introduced the USB4 Model 2.0 specification, a major replace that can allow information charges as much as 80 Gbps over USB-C cables and connectors. For comparability, each Thunderbolt 4 and USB4 Model 1.0 solely help a most bandwidth of 40 Gbps bidirectionally.
A brand new bodily layer (PHY) structure permits the usual’s elevated information charges, which can reportedly work utilizing present 40 Gbps USB Kind-C passive cables and newly-defined 80 Gbps USB Kind-C energetic cables. The brand new specification can be backward suitable with earlier USB revisions, together with USB4 Model 1.0, USB 3.2, and USB 2.0, in addition to Thunderbolt 3.
Additionally learn: How USB Works (And How It is Remained Ubiquitous and Ever Evolving)
The brand new customary consists of up to date information and show protocols to make the most of the elevated bandwidth higher. It additionally permits USB 3.2 information tunneling to exceed 20 Gbps. The newest DisplayPort and PCIe specs are supported, which probably means DisplayPort 2.0 and PCIe 5.0 (PCIe 6.0 solely got here out earlier this yr).
The USB Promoter Group, comprised of Apple, HP, Intel, Microsoft, Renesas Electronics, STMicroelectronics, and Texas Devices, says the brand new customary ought to be revealed someday earlier than the USB DevDays developer occasions deliberate for November. So we in all probability will not see gadgets supporting the up to date specification till subsequent yr.
Because of this replace, we’d begin seeing extra docks and hubs choosing USB4 as an upstream connection over Thunderbolt. With as much as twice the bandwidth of Thunderbolt 4, it ought to allow extra shows and gadgets to be related concurrently. It additionally permits charging speeds as much as 240W, whereas Thunderbolt is proscribed to 100W.
In associated information, the EU desires to make USB-C obligatory for all telephones launched after fall 2024. You too can take a look at our deep dive on how USB works.