Let’s take a quick look at everything we know so far about the new USB 4, which will change USB standards.
Why USB 4?
According to Brad Saunders, CEO of USB Promoter Group, the name “USB4” was preferred to avoid the name confusion (such as between 3.1 and 3.2) experienced in the upper version names of the previous standards.
Saunders also states that Usb4 can also go through phases such as renaming or upgrading, in which case the standard will be focused on clearer name alternatives, although technically it remains USB4.
General features of USB 4
The usb4 is said to be twice as fast as the current USB 3.2 standard (20Gbps). Which means it will support speeds of up to 40Gbps in most cases. We call it in most cases because the actual speed will vary depending on the device you are using.
USB cables use two lanes to signal the devices to which they are connected. However, some devices will be able to use the USB4 cable in a way that suits one-way communication. For example, the alternative mode of DisplayPort 2.0 will increase the available signal bandwidth to 80 GBPS. This allows 8K HDR displays and other high-speed devices to be supported via USB4. The two-lane deployment also means that some USB4 devices will also support Intel and Apple’s Thunderbolt 3 standards. Of course, this actually comes across as a situation that depends on the manufacturers.
With greater bandwidth, the usb4 also supports USB PD charging standards. This means that your smartphones and other devices can be charged much faster with USB4 cables if they are designed to support fast charging.
Speeds supported by USB 4
USB4 devices will support three different speeds: 10Gbps, 20Gbps and 40Gbps. In other words, before buying the USB4 to learn the maximum level of speed it can support the features of the device must be read.
Another speed feature is the Usb4’s ability to dynamically adjust the amount of resources available for both video and data transmission over the same connection. For example, you have a Usb4 with 40Gbps speed support, and you copy files from an external SSD while at the same time providing output to a 4K monitor. Suppose the video stream also needs about 12.5 Gbps. In this case, USB4 uses the remaining 27.5 Gbps bandwidth for your external drive.
USB 4 Backward Compatibility Support
USB4 cables will use the C-type connectors, which are the flat, round port found in most smartphones and laptops today, so they will fit with your devices in retrospect.
You can plug USB4 cables into almost any USB Type-C input. However, the same features will not always be supported. For example, if you plug the USB4 cable into an old port, you will experience a slowdown in speed. Similarly, older cables plugged into USB 4.0 inputs will not be able to reach the same speed as a USB4, even if they operate at the highest possible speed.
You may also need an additional adapter to use USB4 cables with USB Type A ports.