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USB4 finally coming with 40Gbps
  • March 4, 2019 – The USB Promoter Group today announced the pending release of the USB4 specification, a major update to deliver the next generation USB architecture that compliments and builds on the existing USB 3.2 and USB 2.0 architectures. The USB4 architecture is based on the Thunderbolt™ protocol specification recently contributed by Intel Corporation. It doubles the bandwidth of USB and enables multiple simultaneous data and display protocols.

    The new USB4 architecture defines a method to share a single high-speed link with multiple end device types dynamically that best serves the transfer of data by type and application. As the USB Type-C™ connector has evolved into the role as the external display port of many host products, the USB4 specification provides the host the ability to optimally scale allocations for display data flow. Even as the USB4 specification introduces a new underlying protocol, compatibility with existing USB 3.2, USB 2.0 and Thunderbolt 3 hosts and devices is supported; the resulting connection scales to the best mutual capability of the devices being connected.

    “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.”

    Key characteristics of the USB4 solution include:

    • Two-lane operation using existing USB Type-C cables and up to 40 Gbps operation over 40 Gbps certified cables
    • Multiple data and display protocols to efficiently share the total available bandwidth over the bus
    • Backward compatibility with USB 3.2, USB 2.0 and Thunderbolt 3

    With over 50 companies actively participating in the final stages of review of the draft specification, the USB4 specification is on track to be published around the middle of 2019. Coincident with the release of the USB4 specification, the release of an updated USB Type-C Specification will be made to comprehend USB4 bus discovery, configuration and performance requirements.

    USB Developer Days 2019, in the second half of this year, will include detailed technical training covering the USB4 specification and the latest for USB Type-C, USB Power Delivery, and other exciting topics.

  • 4 Replies sorted by
  • It is utter failure as Thunderbolt has multitude of issues. It has lot of restrictions on cables and is generally not useful in the are where USB 3.0 is being used and even USB 3.2 is much better in this regard.

  • "Releasing the Thunderbolt protocol specification is a significant milestone for making today's simplest and most versatile port available to everyone. This, in combination with the integration of Thunderbolt 3 into upcoming Intel processors is a win-win for the industry and consumers," Jason Ziller, general manager, Client Connectivity Division at Intel, was cited as saying in a company statement.

    Previously, Intel shared plans to integrate Thunderbolt 3 into future Intel CPUs and to release the Thunderbolt protocol specification to the industry. As detailed at CES 2019, Intel's upcoming 10nm processor code-named Ice Lake will be the first to integrate Thunderbolt 3, said the company. Processor integration, combined with the latest announcement, is expected to drive large-scale, mainstream adoption of Thunderbolt.

    Industry adoption of Thunderbolt 3 is accelerating, according to Intel. Thunderbolt 3 is fully supported in Windows 10, macOS and Linux; volumes of PCs with these ports continue to double every year into the tens of millions; and all the latest Macs have Thunderbolt 3 ports. More than 400 PC designs have been enabled with Thunderbolt 3. Peripheral device volumes also continue to double annually with more than 450 certified devices from a wide number of product categories, including docks, displays, storage and external graphics.

    Choosing proprietary tech as new standard that is of completely different architecture from existing USB 3.0 is stupid move. Totally stupid.

    Main idea here can be put all industry into situation that happened to HEVC where US and EU companies use fake and strange patents on algorithms and protocols to prevent competition and demand money.

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    New protocol is expected to manifest in physical, consumer products by the end of 2020. The specification for the next-generation bus is currently on version 0.7, with the USB Promoter Group expecting it to be finalized by this Summer. Then it's just a matter of manufacturers developing new products powered by the latest protocol.

    USB 4.0 will make use of USB Type-C's interface, ensuring backwards compatibility not only with it, but also USB 2.0, USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt 3.

    And we again will have USB 4.0 Gen1 aka USB 3.0 :-)

    One thing to note - already Thunderbolt had huge issues with cable length and here it will be only worse. Idea to somehow push PCIe interface to everything will fail miserably. As USB like connections must use proper physical layer that comes from wired networks.

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