Monday, June 24, 2024

USB4 2.0: USB interface is upgraded to 80Gbit/s


USB4, the current version of the Universal Computer Interface, gets an upgrade. With USB4 in version 2.0, the maximum data transfer speed will be doubled to 80 Gbit/s. Protocol updates should also ensure better performance when tunneling USB 3.2, DisplayPort, and PCIe.

Name chaos never ends

Many will throw up their hands at the title of the post, because USB standards with their unfortunate name can hardly be overlooked. For example, USB4 Gen 2×2 with 20 Gbit/s or USB4 Gen 3×2 with the previous maximum speed of 40 Gbit/s may be behind “USB4”. “USB 3.0” became USB 3.2 Gen 1 with 5 Gbit/s in the course of the name change. But there is also USB 3.2 Gen 2 with 10 Gbit/s or USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 with 20 Gbit/s.

Now the USB Promoter Group, as the body responsible for standards, is also perfecting the chaos in the latest version.

USB4 2.0 with twice the performance

With USB4 2.0, the maximum speed through the USB-C connector increases to 80 Gbit/s. Whether new cables will be needed for this is only vaguely formulated. When using existing passive USB-C cables, “up to 80Gbps” the speech. But there are also new active USB-C cables for guaranteed 80 Gbit/s. There is backward compatibility with USB4 version 1.0, USB 3.2 and Thunderbolt 3.

  • Up to 80 Gbps operation, based on a new physical layer architecture, using existing 40 Gbps passive USB Type-C cables and newly defined 80 Gbps active USB Type-C cables.
  • Updates to data and display protocols to better take advantage of increased available bandwidth
    • Updates to the USB data architecture now allow the USB 3.2 data tunnel 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.

Also speeds up tunneling with DisplayPort and PCIe

Also data tunneling or tunneling, since the term comes from English, it should be accelerated by USB4 2.0. This means the translation and transmission of data to other protocols. Modern USB interfaces with C connectors can also, for example, transmit image and network signals.

Protocol upgrades with USB4 2.0 are promised, with which USB 3.2, DisplayPort and PCI Express should also benefit from the increased bandwidth. For example, USB 3.2 allows tunneling with more than 20 Gbit/s. Also, the interface with the “latest versions of DisplayPort and PCIe specificationsTo upgrade. So this would mean support for DisplayPort 2.0 and PCIe 5.0.

However, details about USB4 version 2.0 will only be available later, probably before USB DevDays in November, when the final specifications are released.

The already long list of previous USB standards will be even longer. The problem that users first have to take a close look at what exactly “USB4” means on a product is further compounded.

Ebenezer Robbins
Ebenezer Robbins
Introvert. Beer guru. Communicator. Travel fanatic. Web advocate. Certified alcohol geek. Tv buff. Subtly charming internet aficionado.

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