USB4 ADOPTS INTEL’S THUNDERBOLT 3 ARCHITECTURE TO ACHIEVE SPEEDS OF 40 GBPS

USB 3.2 connectivity on devices are a rarity in 2019 so far, but we are expected to see devices ship later this year which will feature compatibility for USB 3.2.

The USB Promoter Group, which is an association including the likes of Apple, HP, Intel and Microsoft among others, launched an even faster USB4 standard today.

USB4 is expected to increase maximum data transfer speeds to 40 Gbps over 20 Gbps offered by USB 3.2. The new standard is based on Intel’s Thunderbolt protocol that Intel has contributed to the USB Promoter Group royalty free.

The new interface will use USB Type-C connectors and will maintain backwards compatibility with USB 2.0, USB 3.2 and Thunderbolt 3 interfaces.

As per a report by CNET, the contribution of Intel’s Thunderbolt 3 protocol to the USB Promoter Group essentially brings Thunderbolt 3 to mainstream PC platforms and enables various companies to integrate its support into their products. Intel’s upcoming Ice Lake processors will also be the first CPUs to support Thunderbolt 3 natively, which means that Windows users will not require an additional Thunderbolt driver to take advantage of it.

However, this is only a draft specification which is not expected to be official unless it is published later this year (mid-2019 expected).

This essentially means that it will be a while before we start seeing USB4 compatibility on devices. Maybe even Q4 2019 or early 2020.

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