USB4 and everything we know about it

USB4 and everything we know about it

USB4 and everything we know about it

Get ready to face a completely new generation of flash memory! The USB standard development group has recently announced that it is working on a new generation of this standard called USB4. The final details of this new standard and compatible devices will probably be announced this year. In addition to benefiting from higher data transfer speeds, USB4 will also be compatible with the Thunderbolt 3 standard. USB 3.2, two versions of USB 3.1, different types of connectors and many types of charging ports, the introduction of a new type of USB standard may seem a little too much! But it is good to know, this technology still has a lot of room for improvement. In the following, we will mention everything you need to know about USB4.

The most important advantages of USB4

The new USB4 standard has three main advantages compared to the previous standards:

Speed ​​of 40 Gbps: Using two-line cables, devices equipped with USB4 will be able to provide the same data transfer speed as Thunderbolt 3, i.e. 40 Gbps .

Compatible with Thunderbolt 3 devices: Some, but not all, USB4 ports will be compatible with Thunderbolt 3 devices.

Better allocation of resources for video: If you use USB4 to transfer both video and non-video data simultaneously, the port will allocate a certain bandwidth for each task, depending on the amount of data. For example, if streaming video to a Full HD monitor requires 20% of your bandwidth, the remaining 80% will be allocated to other tasks.

USB4 uses Type-C connectors

It is natural that this The new standard uses Type-C ports. As a rule, we cannot use the USB4 standard with the old Type-A ports. Other new standards, such as the USB Power Delivery standard, are only able to use the Type-C port. If you use Type A port together with converters, the data transfer speed will definitely drop.

Compatible with Thunderbolt 3 port

  • Everything about USB-C and Thunderbolt 3 to know
  • Integration of Thunderbolt 3 and USB standards in next generation USB4 ports

According to Intel (Intel), the manufacturer of the Thunderbolt 3 port, this company has the exclusive right to this technology. Superfast data transfer has given up and has provided it to the USB Standard Development Organization for full compatibility of USB4 with Thunderbolt 3. This is good news for all users, especially those who want to game with pay laptop . Although there are external graphics cards that are equipped with Thunderbolt 3, there are limited laptops and computers that support this port. Since Thunderbolt 3 is a standard created by Intel, naturally, we will not see this port in any of AMD’s products. On the other hand, Thunderbolt 3 is expensive; Because, in addition to Intel’s exclusive right, a dedicated chip is required to be used in various products. So, if you want to use an eGPU, the computers and laptops you can use are very limited. But soon, with the introduction of USB4, most manufacturers will be able to benefit from Thunderbolt 3 without paying royalties to Intel and using the USB4 standard. Of course, it should be noted that compatibility with Thunderbolt 3 is not part of the main features of USB4 and we may not be able to use the Thunderbolt 3 standard in devices. Of course, Brad Saunders, the manager of the USB production group, said that the company is trying to make most of the computers equipped with USB4 support Thunderbolt 3. USB hopes that computer manufacturers will pay attention to the compatibility of their products with the Thunderbolt 3 standard so that users do not face any problems. Of course, as mentioned, any company that wants to introduce its product as a product compatible with the Thunderbolt 3 standard is required to pay royalties to Intel. Now we have to see what policy different companies will take.

3 different speeds for USB4

The USB4 standard has a nominal speed of 40 Gbps; Of course, not all devices can achieve this maximum speed. As mentioned by Brad Saunders, USB4 transfers information at three different speeds 10, 20 and 40 Gbps in different devices. Lower speeds will be available for cheaper products such as mobiles and Chromebooks, and higher speeds will be available for more expensive laptops. This component should be checked when buying these devices.

Bandwidth distribution between video and data

One of the important features of the USB4 standard is the dynamic distribution of bandwidth in the simultaneous transmission of data and video. . For example, if your bandwidth is 40 Gbps and you are simultaneously playing a 4K video and transferring data from a SSD be external, if video playback requires 12.5 Gbps of bandwidth, the remaining 27.5 Gbps is used for data transfer. The USB-C standard does this to some extent; However, the problem with this standard is that the bandwidth allocation is done only in an equal way. The ones we use support the USB Power Delivery standard, but not all of them have this feature. Meanwhile, the new USB4 standard fully supports USB PD. It should be noted that USB PD is a standard that can be used to transfer electrical energy to devices with high consumption. USB PD is capable of providing 100 watts of nominal power to various devices; But, these devices may not be able to receive this amount of power. So it may not be possible to charge a notebook using USB4, but we can hope that some devices will provide this possibility.

USB4, backward compatible USB

Important note about generations The difference with USB is that newer generations support older standards. Of course, it should be noted that the data transfer speed is always proportional to the weakest generation. This means that, for example, when using the USB 2 and USB 4 ports, we will have a speed corresponding to the USB 2 port.

Also, data transfer through the USB 4 port using older cables, with the maximum cable speed. The old one is done. For example, if the maximum speed of your cable is 5 Gbps, you cannot expect more speed.

The USB manufacturer will announce USB4 specifications in the middle of 2019, but we will not see this product on the market until 2020. . According to the CEO of the USB Standard Development Organization, Brad Saunders, after the introduction of a new technology, it usually takes 12 to 18 months to develop a new product. But the time it takes for USB 4-equipped devices to be produced and released will be even longer. As you know, USB C was introduced in 2014; But, even today, some devices do not support this technology.

There is no exact information about the costs of using USB 4 in different devices; But, what is clear is the higher cost of using USB 4 compared to USB 3.2. Brad Saunders stated that the price of USB 4 will be lower than Thunderbolt 3, but probably due to the high price, at first we will only see the use of this standard in flagship and expensive devices.

USB 4 or USB4; Here’s the thing!

Previous versions of USB products were called USB 3.x; For example USB 3.2. But according to Saunders, the company probably won’t follow this naming scheme for its new generation of technology. The reason for this is branding and marketing issues. The presence of multiple names such as USB 3.1, USB 3.2, etc. can be confusing for users. The new generation of USBs is only available with the name USB4. Of course, other strategies may also be adopted; For example, their speed is given below: USB4 40 Gbps. Although the number may not be used in general for this naming; For example, something like SuperSpeed ​​USB.


There are still many things we don’t know about USB4; We have to wait a few more months to officially introduce the details of this standard. Although there is still a long way to the release of products benefiting from this technology, we probably have to wait until the end of 2020, or even 2021, to find USB4 in the market.

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