USB4 version 2.0 will deliver up to 80Gbps bandwidth for faster data transfers
The USB Promoter Group has announced that it will be releasing an updated USB specification – called USB4 version 2.0 – promising even more bandwidth than before. According to the organization, USB4 version 2.0 will support bandwidth up to a whopping 80Gbps, double what’s available in USB4 version 1.0. What’s more, you’ll be able to use existing 40Gbps USB Type-C passive cables to support up to 80Gbps connection, though there will also be newly-defined active cables specifically for 80Gbps bandwidth.
Not all of that bandwidth will be available for regular data transfers, though. As with USB4 version 1.0, part of this specification is the ability to support DisplayPort and PCIe signaling, and the company says this new specification will also enable support for the latest versions of both. Presumably, that means DisplayPort 2.0 and PCIe 5. Of course, the latest specification will also push further when it comes to the USB data architecture, which means you’ll be able to exceed 20Gbps of bandwidth for data transfers. It’s not yet know how much bandwidth will be available, but more details should be available in the near future.
As per usual, USB4 version 2.0 will also come with backwards compatibility for previous versions of USB ports, including USB4 version 1.0, USB 3.2, and USB 2.0, as well as Thunderbolt 3. In addition to this new specification, the USB Promoter Group will also update the specifications for USB Type-C and Power Delivery to align with these new capabilities. In the future, there will also be new branding and marketing guidelines for products that support USB4 version 2.0.
Of course, we have to address the elephant in the room, which is the ever-inconsistent naming of new USB specifications. In recent years, we’ve gone from USB 3.0 (5Gbps), to USB 3.1 – which rebranded USB 3.0 as USB 3.1 Gen 1 and introduced the new USB 3.1 Gen 2 designation (10Gbps) – and then USB 3.2 once again rebranded existing protocols and added USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 (20Gbps). Then we got USB4, which seemed to simplify the naming scheme. Yet, instead of naming the next version USB5, we’re getting USB4 version 2.0. We can only hope it doesn’t get worse in the next few years.
We’re likely to hear more about USB4 version 2.0 in November, when the USB Promoter Group will host developer events where those interested can learn more about the details of the new specification.