USB4 Version 2.0: 80 Gbps Data Transmission With USB-C Cables

The USB4 version 2.0 specification has been released by the USB Promoter Group. Using some current USB Type-C connectors, the new specification allows data transmission rates up to 80 Gbps. The USB Power Delivery (PD) specifications will also be changed. Users can take use of the new USB4 version 2.0 specs and reach 80 Gbps speed without purchasing newly defined 80 Gbps USB Type-C active cables if have USB Type-C passive cables rated for 40 Gbps.

“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 that benefit most from this speed enhancement include higher-performance displays, storage, and USB-based hubs and docks.”

The USB Promoter Group has also stated that the new standard includes updates to data and display protocols to utilize better the increased available bandwidth, including updates to the USB data architecture to enable USB 3.2 data tunneling at speeds greater than 20 Gbps and updated versions of the DisplayPort and PCIe specifications. Backward compatibility with Thunderbolt 3, USB 3.2, USB 2.0, and USB4 Version 1.0 is also part of the revised USB4 solution.

As Ars Technica pointed out, the new standard could make USB-C naming even more confusing. Not all USB-C cables currently in use can benefit from the faster speeds provided by USB4 version 2.0. Even some USB4 cables could have a 20 Gbps speed limit. You must look for an optional logo or consult the specifications pages to determine whether a cable can support 40 Gbps and, consequently, 80 Gbps. Sadly, the new logos haven’t yet gained much popularity.

More information about the USB4 Version 2.0 spec will be made public by the USB Promoter Group during the USB Developer Days 2022 Conference, which begins on November 1 in Seattle, Washington. In-depth technical training for the most recent revisions to the USB4, USB Type-C, and USB PD specs will be provided at the event. There will also be a gathering in Seoul, South Korea, around November.

More info on USB Promoter Group’s website.

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