Image: Pixabay (denvit)

The USB Promoter Group has announced USB4 Version 2.0, a new update to the evolving USB standard that will enable “up to 80 Gbps of data performance over the USB Type-C cable and connector.” This is twice as fast as USB4 Version 1.0, with USB 3.2 Gen 2×2, the fastest version of USB 3.2, maxing out at 20 Gbps (2.4 GB/s), although that limit is apparently set to increase courtesy of USB data architecture updates. USB4 Version 2.0 is backward compatible with USB4 Version 1.0, including USB 3.2, USB 2.0, and Thunderbolt 3.

Key features of USB4 Version 2.0:

  • Up to 80 Gbps operation, based on a new physical layer architecture, using existing 40 Gbps USB Type-C passive cables and newly-defined 80 Gbps USB Type-C active cables.
  • Updates to data and display protocols to better use the increase in available bandwidth.
  • USB data architecture updates now enable USB 3.2 data tunneling to exceed 20 Gbps.
  • Updated to align with the latest versions of the DisplayPort and PCIe specifications.
  • Backward compatibility with USB4 Version 1.0, USB 3.2, USB 2.0 and Thunderbolt 3.

“Once again following USB tradition, this updated USB4 specification doubles data performance to deliver higher levels of functionality to the USB Type-C ecosystem,” said Brad Saunders, USB Promoter Group Chairman. “Solutions seeing the most benefit from this speed enhancement include higher-performance displays, storage, and USB-based hubs and docks.”

USB Promoter Group Announces USB4 Version 2.0

The USB Promoter Group today announced the pending release of the USB4 Version 2.0 specification, a major update to enable up to 80 Gbps of data performance over the USB Type-C cable and connector. The USB Type-C and USB Power Delivery (USB PD) specifications will also be updated to enable this higher level of data performance. All of these specification updates are expected to be published in advance of this year’s series of USB DevDays developer events planned for November.

Protocol updates are also being made to enable higher performance USB 3.2, DisplayPort and PCI Express (PCIe) data tunneling to best use the higher available bandwidth.

USB Developer Days 2022 will include detailed technical training covering the latest updates to the USB4, USB Type-C, and USB PD specifications. Registration for the two scheduled events, November 1-2 in Seattle, WA and November 15-16 in Seoul, South Korea, will open shortly on the USB-IF website (www.usb.org).

This update is specifically targeted to developers at this time. Branding and marketing guidelines will be updated in the future to include USB 80 Gbps both for identifying certified products and certified cables.

Source: USB-IF

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8 comments

  1. TB4 is 40Gbps full-duplex USB4 is up to 40Gbps half-duplex.

    USB4 v2 looks to get bandwidth parity with TB4.

    The other differences come down to signaling and power delivery, IIRC.
  2. So 80 Gbps seem to be the magic number for some next-gen stuff since that's the same speed as the fastest DisplayPort 2.0 UHBR spec. No doubt because we've already seen USB-C DP support in recent years. I wonder if UB4 2.0 will offer full DP 2.0 UHBR support or if there will be some kind of overhead-related limitations.
  3. So 80 Gbps seem to be the magic number for some next-gen stuff since that's the same speed as the fastest DisplayPort 2.0 UHBR spec. No doubt because we've already seen USB-C DP support in recent years. I wonder if UB4 2.0 will offer full DP 2.0 UHBR support or if there will be some kind of overhead-related limitations.
    Biggest question for me is how they intend to wire it up.

    I'm down if the ports on boards are hooked up to IGPs with no latency, and if GPU manufacturers decide to put more USB-C ports on GPUs, similar.

    With PCIe 5.0, I'm betting that we'll have enough bandwidth, and with ATX 3.0 (the new 16-pin 600W power connectors) enough power to possible start fully powering many external displays, especially cheaper edge-lit LCDs.

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