We are all use to using USB in our daily lives, attaching devices to our computers, transferring data, charging … and we’ve been doing this since USB was introduced in 1996. Yes, I just made us all feel old.
Of course, USB has changed quite a lot over all those years – mostly for the better. Sure, we might be frustrated with why we never stick a thumb drive in the correct direction the first time, or trying to find a cable that fits because the format keeps changing…but overall it’s all been an upward progression.
And it’s just a coincidence that this announcement comes right after our warning about a USB scam.
USB has a new update in the works, and it’s one that you are not going to groan about – I promise. USB 4 Version 2.0 was just announced, and it is going to give you blazing fast speeds.
It’s really fast.
The USB Promoter Group, who is the managing body that drives USB standards and improvements, recently announced that this new version will give transfer rates of up to 80 Gbps (that’s Gigabits per second). That’s essentially twice as fast as version 1.0 (Thunderbolt) and four times as fast as USB 3.2.
That’s quite a lot of bandwidth, and will be a noticeable improvement, but don’t think it’s all going to a single device. The design is really geared towards sharing that capacity across multiple devices through a hub or dock. That’s still an amazing outcome, since USB ports on devices might be few in number and we seem to attach more and more devices.
Though there are additional updates being planned to use this bandwidth to increase performance of existing PCIe and USB 3.2 DisplayPort connections.
But wait….there’s more!
That brings me to the second perk of this announcement. The format isn’t changing – it’s staying with the current USB-C plug. No need to worry about buying all new cables and having mismatched devices. USB 4 2.0 will also be backward compatible with USB 4 1.0, USB 3.2, USB 2.0, and Thunderbolt 3.
That’s all great news, so when’s it coming? Soon. More information will be available in November, after a scheduled technical training takes place for developers. So no, don’t expect to take advantage of these benefits right away, but it is very close on the horizon and we are moving one step closer to a perfected USB cable.