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Next-generation USB4 will deliver speeds of up to 80Gbps using existing USB-C cables

By Kenny Yeo - on 2 Sep 2022, 10:50am

Next-generation USB4 will deliver speeds of up to 80Gbps using existing USB-C cables

(Image source: Getty Images)

The USB Promoter Group has just announced the key features of the next-generation USB4 Version 2.0 specification and it's quite amazing.

The group says users will be able to expect speeds of up to 80Gbps, which is double that of the existing USB4 standard and also Thunderbolt 4.

But perhaps more impressively, the group also says that such speeds will be attainable using existing USB4 cables

In the press release, the group says "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."

Unfortunately, the group did not share specifics as to how this was made possible. However, a spokesperson said that this benefit was a key requirement when the specification was developed and that specifics as to how the 80Gbps signalling was achieved will be disclosed when the final specification is released, which is likely to be sometime in November.

In addition to these, USB4 Version 2.0 will also deliver better speeds for devices supporting USB 3.2 and will be able to enjoy speeds in excess of 20Gbps.

Now while this is all nice and good, I do have concerns about the naming scheme. USB is already famously confusing and I'm not convinced USB4 Version 2.0 is the best name for this new standard. Given the big leap in speeds, perhaps USB5 would have made more sense and make things easier for consumers to understand. 

To get up to speed on all things USB, check out our USB guide here.

Source: The USB Promoter Group

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