USB4 was first announced back in May this year when its specifications were teased by the company. But now, the USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF) has offered new details on the upcoming standard. The group announced today that they have completed the development of the USB4 technical specification, which means engineers can now start implementing it – and Mac users might notice some similarities.
As from the specifications, the USB4 promises the performance of 40Gbps, which is double that of USB 3.2. No doubt, USB 3.2 itself is still hard to come by, with many modern computers packing even earlier versions with support for 5Gbps or 10Gbps.
According to the USB-IF, the USB4 uses two-lane operation using existing USB Type-C cables and up to 40Gbps operation over 40Gbps certified cables. Also, it comes with multiple data and display protocols that efficiently share the maximum aggregate bandwidth. And like previous versions of USB, the USB4 will also support all its predecessors including USB 3.2, USB 2.0 and Thunderbolt 3.
For the Mac, however, USB4 should bring more unity to the lineup. USB4 incorporates Intel’s Thunderbolt technology, which is already found on the MacBook Pro and MacBook Air, as well as desktop Macs. This means many Mac users have already experienced the benefits of USB4, but the new standard is still good news for the Mac.
One of the biggest benefits of USB4 is it will bring a revolutionary change in the accessory market, making more powerful accessories available at different price points. Right now, many accessories incorporate the UBS-C connection, but not Thunderbolt 3 technology. USB4 essentially merges the two.
Furthermore, Intel and the USB-IF say that USB4 will allow for dongles that offer multiple USB4 ports. Currently, many USB-C dongles only offer USB-A ports as well as things like HDMI. As of now, the development of the specification is completed. So, we should expect the first USB4 products to start emerging as early as late-2020.
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