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USB 4 standard based on Thunderbolt, cross-compatible back to USB 2.0

By Jules Wang March 4, 2019, 12:30 pm

The Universal Serial Bus Promoter Group has announced the USB 4 specification, a major milestone in the data and power transfer standard. The biggest point was that it would adopt a protocol that would bring backwards compatibility for USB 2.0, USB 3.2 and Thunderbolt 3.

The new specs are to be finalized prior to USB Developer Days 2019 in the second half of the year.

USB 4 would bring a maximum of 40Gbps throughput via USB-C and approved cables — for reference, USB 3.2 recently introduced 20Gbps transfers — along with efficient channeling for many data and power tasks through means such as USB Power Delivery within the bandwidth provided.

50 companies including Intel, which co-engineered Thunderbolt with Apple, contributed to the new standard.

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