USB Naming Gets Even Worse With The Introduction of USB4 2.0 80 Gbps Standard

USB Naming Gets Even Worse With The Introduction of USB4 2.0 80 Gbps Standard 1

USB Promoter Group has announced the introduction of its latest standard, USB4 2.0, making the USB naming criteria even worse than it already was.

USB4 2.0 Introduced: Brings Even Worse Naming Scheme, 80 Gbps Transfer Speeds, Compatible With Existing Cables

In its official press release, the USB Promoter Group has stated that the new USB4 2.0 standard will be bringing the fastest ever speeds on a USB cable. The new standard will be able to offer up to 80 Gbps transfer speeds, doubling the transfer rates of USB Type-C Thunderbolt 4, & allowing full-on compatibility with existing USB4 capable (40 Gbps passive) while also supporting the newer 80Gbps Type-C active cables.

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The whole USB standard has always been a mess as far as the naming scheme goes with the likes of USB 3.0/3.1/3.2 and their several iterations (Gen 1, Gen 2, Gen 2x2) and now the same is true for USB4 which has reached its second variation instead of simply calling it USB5. The following tweet from @Ghost_motley is enough to highlight the problem here:

Press Release: 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.

“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.”

Key characteristics of the updated USB4 solution include:

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  • 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.

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 at 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.

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