Tuesday, 05 March 2019 11:44

USB4 specification likely to be released by mid-2019

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USB4 specification likely to be released by mid-2019 Courtesy Intel

The USB Promoter Group has announced the pending release of the specifications for USB4, the next generation of the Universal Serial Bus. The spec is expected to be released in the middle of 2019.

The new architecture is based on the Thunderbolt protocol specification which was contributed by Intel. It builds on existing USB3.2 and 2.0 specs, doubles the bandwidth and enables multiple simultaneous data and display protocols.

It defines a way of sharing a single high-speed link with multiple end device types dynamically to serve the transfer of data by type and application.

“The primary goal of USB is to deliver the best user experience combining data, display and power delivery over a user-friendly and robust cable and connector solution,” said USB Promoter Group chairman Brad Saunders.

“The USB4 solution specifically tailors bus operation to further enhance this experience by optimising the blend of data and display over a single connection and enabling the further doubling of performance.”

Key features of the USB4 spec include:

  • Two-lane operation using existing USB Type-C cables and up to 40 Gbps operation over 40 Gbps-certified cables;
  • Multiple data and display protocols to efficiently share the total available bandwidth over the bus; and
  • Backward compatibility with USB 3.2, USB 2.0 and Thunderbolt 3.

“Releasing the Thunderbolt protocol specification is a significant milestone for making today’s simplest and most versatile port available to everyone,” said Jason Ziller, general manager, Client Connectivity Division at Intel.

“By collaborating with the USB Promoter Group, we’re opening the doors for innovation across a wide range of devices and increasing compatibility to deliver better experiences to consumers.”

“USB4’s high throughput and advanced features enable new scenarios in consumer, enterprise, and intelligent edge markets, while maintaining interoperability with existing USB and Thunderbolt 3 devices,” said Roanne Sones, corporate vice-president, Microsoft OS Platforms.

“We are excited to work with our partners in the ecosystem to bring USB4 to market and showcase its benefits.”

The USB Promoter Group includes Apple, Hewlett-Packard, Intel, Microsoft, Renesas Electronics, ST Microelectronics, and Texas Instruments.


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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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