USB4 Spec Doubles Bandwidth, Adds Thunderbolt Support
The USB Promoter Group announced the pending release of the USB4 specification on Monday, the next major update for the USB architecture that compliments and builds on the existing USB 3.2 and USB 2.0 systems. This latest update is based on the Thunderbolt protocol spec that was developed in collaboration with Intel and will double the bandwidth of USB and enable simultaneous data and display protocols.
Simply put, this means that future USB Type-C connectors will be able to share a single high-speed connection with multiple device types. The cable will be able to determine the data transfer method that best serves the connected devices based on type and application. Important to note is that, even with the introduction of the new protocol, the USB4 spec allows for the cable to be backwards compatible with USB 3.2, USB 2.0, and Thunderbolt 3 devices.
“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.”
The USB Promoter Group said that more than 50 companies are actively participating in the final stages of review for the draft speculation. As such, the spec is on track to be published around the middle of 2019. An updated USB Type-C spec will quickly follow. The group expects that at its USB Developer Days 2019 later this year, it will present detailed technical training around the new USB4 spec among other topics.