Back in March of 2019, the USB-IF unveiled the specifications of USB 4, which pushed transfer speeds up to 40Gbps. Now, a major update has been announced in the form of USB 4 Version 2.0, pushing data bandwidth even higher. The new standard will enable up to 80Gbps of data performance, doubling what the previous standard delivered.
As usual, the new USB 4 Version 2.0 standard will also be backwards compatible with older USB 4 cables. Making it extra special is the fact that these older cables will also be able to benefit from the doubling of data bandwidth. As per the announcement, the new standard is “based on a new physical layer architecture, using existing 40Gbps USB Type-C passive cables and newly-defined 80Gbps USB Type-C active cables”.
This is probably one of the new things that sound too good to be true, but actually is. The Verge quotes Joe Balich, a spokesperson for the USB-IF, as saying that you can go and buy a 40Gbps USB-C cable right now, and it will be able to deliver 80Gbps transfer speeds when the new standard rolls around. Though the spokesperson didn’t go into detail explaining what makes this possible.
Sheer data bandwidth of the new standard aside, this USB 4 Version 2.0 update will also include updates that gives better performance to USB 3.2, giving it data transfer speeds up to 20Gbps. The update also brings improved support for DisplayPort and PCIe as well.
While it all sounds pretty impressive, we will likely have to wait for quite awhile before we can benefit from this. After all, the announcement says that the full specification updates for USB 4 Version 2.0 will be published ahead of November. And even then, this update is specifically targeted to developers. All that being considered, it’s safe to say that general consumers won’t be seeing these benefits anytime soon.