USB4 Is Coming: Here's How Fast It'll Be

USB4's technical specifications have been finalized by the USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF), the group responsible for creating USB standards.

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Utilizing a two-lane operation when used with USB Type-C cables and up, we can expect to see transfer speeds of up to 40Gbps. With those rates, USB4 doubles the performance of USB 3.2, the newest USB standard currently available. USB4 is also backwards compatible with USB 3.2, USB 2.0 and Thunderbolt 3.

While USB4 integrates Intel’s Thunderbolt technology, MacBook and iMac desktop users have benefited from faster speeds and output options for years. However, accessories that make use of the the technology are usually expensive, leading most manufacturers to eschew it regardless of the fact that they utilize a USB-C connection. Since the new standard merges both USB-C and Thunderbolt, we should start to see decreasing accessory price points that utilize faster speeds as USB4 gains popularity.

USB4 device manufacturers must also include USB Power Delivery technology, which regulates device charging. PD can quickly charge your phone or gaming laptop, sending the optimal amount of wattage for each device to charge quickly without damage.

With specification development all wrapped up, we could see the first USB4 products hit the market as early as mid-2020.

Hunter Fenollol is Laptop’s editorial intern, where he covers the latest industry news and products. With a public relations degree from Long Island University, Hunter worked as a publicity specialist for independent game companies prior to joining the team. When he’s not working, you can find Hunter blowing his paycheck on slot machines, babysitting his two little sisters or playing the latest video games.