More USB clutter on the way: The new USB 4 is lightning fast and extra confusing
The USB standard is getting better, but the confusion regarding the USB standard’s many names is not getting any less.
The USB 4 standard is getting something of an overhaul before long.
The overhaul is to such an extent that it is surprising that it has not been named USB 5.
However, confusion reigns as always within the USB standard, which is why you will instead have to keep an eye on the USB 4 version 2.0 annotation on the technical sheet of your next computer, monitor, smartphone or other electronics.
But now the new USB version is out before long – and it will be worth keeping an eye on.
USB 4 version 2.0
Behind the new standard is the industry organization USB Promoter Group, which with the revision of USB 4 opens up wild speeds.
USB 4 version 2.0 now allows data transfer speeds of 80 gigabits/second versus 40 gbps previously. Theoretically, this means that it is possible to transfer a whole terabyte of data in just over a minute and a half.
This corresponds to a doubling of not only the pending USB 4 standard but also the Thunderbolt 4 standard, which USB 4 leans on.
An important detail of the new standard is that it is able to use existing UDB 4 cables of the passive kind (which until now have been limited to 40 gbps) and double the transfer speed through them.
However, active cables will have to be of the USB 4 version 2.0 type in order to be able to offer the full bandwidth of the standard, according to the organisation’s documentation.
The physical connector itself will be the same reversible USB-C connector that has gained wide acceptance since its debut in 2014.
The USB standard seems to be loved by the industry organization behind it, which has given the various USB standards many different names over the years.
When we reached the USB 3.2 generation, the confusion became total with, for example, USB 3.2 Gen 1 (which effectively covered USB 3.0), USB 3.2 Gen 2, USB 3.2 Gen 2 1×2, USB 3.2 Gen 2 2×2, which alternated between offering top speeds of 5, 10 and 20 Gbps.
Where with version 4 of the USB standard there was hope for simplification, that goal is obscured a bit by calling the USB standard USB 4 version 2.0 instead of USB 4.1 or simply USB 5.
Ready at the end of the year
When the new standard can be seen in action depends on when the final specifications are defined, which is expected to be clarified before mid-November 2022, writes the online media The Verge.
Once this is done, the path is cleared for devices with USB 4 version 2.0 marks to be presented, of course at the next consumer electronics trade show, the CES trade show in January 2023.