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USB 4 Based On Thunderbolt 3 Protocol Announced

The USB Promoter Group has announced next generation serial bus architecture named USB 4. It is based on the Thunderbolt 3 protocol developed by Intel Corporation.

USB 4 will continue to support existing USB 2.0 and USB 3.2 devices. It doubles the transfer speeds offered by USB 3.2 to 40Gbps. It also enables multiple simultaneous data and display protocols.

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USB 4 will transfer data over USB-C connector and can daisy-chain upto 6 devices. Daisy-chaining is connecting several devices together in a linear series. For more technical definition, please look here.

The primary goal of USB is to deliver the best user experience combining data, display and power delivery over a user-friendly and robust cable and connector solution.

Brad Saunders, USB Promoter Group Chairman

Full specifications of USB 4 are yet to be released, probably around the mid-2019. Intel has signalled that it will be integrating Thunderbolt 3 technology into its upcoming Ice Lake processor.

Thunderbolt 3 Intel for USB 4

Apple already supports Thunderbolt 3 on nearly every Mac it makes except the 12-inch MacBook and Mac Pro. This will also allow Apple and other USB-controller manufacturing companies to produce products that can hook up to USB4 gear, without’s Intel’s interference.

USB 3.2 architecture is still on its way to arrive in hardware devices. Its clear that we won’t see any USB4 supported hardware device till 2020.


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