The most common way a mass storage device (which is equipped with a large capacity) connects to a computer is through the USB interface. After connection, the mass storage device can be used as the auxiliary memory to compensate for the computer’s inadequacy – the capacity of main memory is limited. To accelerate the transfer speed, the USB 4 standard made its debut.
USB 4 Standard Is Coming to You
In fact, more than half of the mass storage devices and SD cards are connected to a computer through USB port; it’s a convenient way to access, manage, and transfer data. Recently, the new USB 4 standard is announced by the USB Promoter Group for better performance: faster transfer speed, improved power delivery, and so on. (But you need to note that the new USB has not been applied to the current products.)
As you can see, the USB port technology has been developing at a fast speed. The USB 4 is developed on the basis of Intel’s Thunderbolt protocol. The fact is there are more than 50 companies, who showing their interest in the USB4 specifications draft’s final development stages.
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Main features of the new USB interface standard are:
- Fast power charging speed: it is able to deliver up to 100W of power.
- Fast data transfer speed: 40 Gbps.
- Bring enough bandwidth for display: one 5k display and two 4k displays.
- Offer enough data throughput for the use of external graphics cards.
It’s necessary for you to upgrade to the USB 4 cables if you want to use the USB 3.x cable with Type-C connectors.
The new USB 4 can be backward compatible with USB 3 (3.0, 3.1, and 3.2), USB 2, and other specifications of USB. Besides, it also gives support for all the Thunderbolt 3 enabled hosts and devices.
- It’s not even surprising that USB 4 would be compatible with the older USB standards.
- Yet, it’s quite amazing that the compatibility of the new USB 4 standard with Thunderbolt 3 devices is good. This makes it possible for all the expensive devices and cables to sync with each other effectively.
- The USB 4 is able to deal with the two-lane operation by taking advantage of current USB-C cables.
What does this mean? Actually, it means that in addition to the new devices (such as laptops, tablets, smartphones, and cables), you can continue to use the previous-gen devices you have with the help of USB 4.
According to Intel, the compatibility between USB 4 and USB Type-C connector-based products will be further increased so as to simplify the way of devices connecting. This new standard will be made to be available for other chipmakers, not only Intel, so as to allow them to manufacture the technology, royalty free.
Future Expectations of USB 4 Port
As a new USB interface standard, the USB4 specification is expected to be finally adopted in laptops (such as Chromebooks) around in the second half of 2019. Besides, more and more types of devices will be asked to give support to USB 4 on the basis of strict requirements. That is to say, the USB 4 will be an open standard (it will be more widely available and cheaper), but the actual enforcement mechanisms will still be missing.
Though the USB 4 has not been popularized till now, it is definitely going to revolutionize the tech industry. You just need to wait and watch. One day (in the near future), there will be many devices powered by USB 4 hit the stores.
Though different color ports have been used in the previous versions of USB to indicate the standard version they can support, it is not possible for the USB-C ports, which will be used exclusively by USB 4. It’s not necessary for manufacturers to add any labels to their cables and ports.