USB-C is a great connector. It’s so loved that it’s becoming mandatory among EU electronics, while other regions are considering similar approaches, and even the resistant iPhone is considering using it. It operates at speeds up to 40 Gbps and has greater bandwidth than USB-A or other forms of USB, but assuming you have the correct type from USB-C. USB-C naming has already dealt with a rebranding that only continued the confusion. And the next standard for the popular reversible connector type will advance the twisted plot of USB naming with a new, mind-boggling identity: USB4 Version 2.0.
USB4 Version 2.0 will operate at up to 80 Gbps, the USB Promoter Group announced today. The current USB4 can work up to 40 Gbps, but can also reach a maximum of 20 Gbps. You’ll need to search for optional USB-IF logos or refer to spec sheets to know.
USB4 version 2.0 would achieve 80 Gbps using a new physical layer architecture that, according to the USB Promoter Group, uses “newly defined” 80 Gbps active USB-C cables and the currently existing 40 Gbps USB-C passive cables .
The new type of USB4 continues the dubious naming scheme of the USB-IF that only its members and a pin and string covered bulletin board can truly appreciate. When all is said and done, it seems you can find USB-C ports that are USB4 Version 2.0, USB4 Version 1.0, USB 3.2 Gen 2×2, USB 3.2 Gen 2, USB 3.2 Gen 1 or USB 2.0, plus some will opt for Intel Thunderbolt certification. And in the case of USB4 version 1.0, you still need more information to know if the port supports the maximum potential speed of 40 Gbps.
Ultimately, vendors may or may not use either of these names, with some opting for the consumer USB-IF’s “SuperSpeed” branding (e.g. USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 can be SuperSpeed USB 20 Gbps) or only listing the maximum speeds. .
Using Intel’s Thunderbolt protocol for the first time, USB4 introduced protocol tunneling to the USB specification. With data and display data protocol updates, USB4 Version 2.0 will leverage the higher bandwidth for “higher USB 3.2, DisplayPort and PCI Express data tunneling to make the most of the higher bandwidth available,” according to the USB Promoter Group announcement. USB 3.2 data tunneling will reportedly exceed the specification’s maximum data transfer rate of 20 Gbps.
USB4 Version 2.0 will also be current with the latest DisplayPort and PCIe standards, the announcement said.
The woefully-named new specification should be released in November, along with relevant updates to the USB-IF’s USB Type-C and USB Power Delivery specifications.