USB4 Version 2.0 to enable speeds of up to 80 Gbps, introduce “active” USB cables

The USB Promoter Group has just pushed a press release about the “pending release” of the USB4 Version 2.0 specification that promises up to 80 Gbps of data performance over the USB Type-C cable and connector. The group also explains both the USB Type-C and USB Power Delivery (USB PD) specifications will also be updated, and everything will be published right before the USB DevDays developer events planned for November 2022 in the US and South Korea.

USB4 Version 2 80Gbps
Not an official logo, just CNXSoft playing with GIMP 🙂

So that’s basically an announcement about a future announcement, but we were still provided with some highlights of the upcoming USB4 v2 specification:

  • 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.

So in the future, you may find yourself having to ask “do I have a passive or active USB Type-C cable?” although we’re told both can support up to 80 Gbps, and USB 3.2 will not be limited to 20 Gbps anymore. But not to worry, as we are told that “branding and marketing guidelines will be updated in the future to include USB 80 Gbps both for identifying certified products and certified cables”.

The only problem is that most manufacturers are not using those, and most are writing USB 3.0, 3.1, 3.2 interchangeably in specifications due to the new way USB interfaces are named since the old USB 3.0 was renamed USB 3.1 Gen1 at one point, and is now called USB 3.2 Gen 1×1. That’s why all mini PC reviews on CNX Software now include a USB speed test mostly to determine which port runs at 5Gbps, 10Gbps, or 20 Gbps. USB Type-C ports are fun to work with too since the USB version is often not mentioned at all. Some companies are also misnaming their products as USB 4.0 SSD enclosures since they can reach 40 Gbps when they are actually hybrid devices with Thunderbolt 3 and USB 3.2 chips.

Anyway, we’ll learn more about USB4 Version 2.0 in a few months with USB Developer Days 2022 events scheduled on November 1-2 in Seattle, WA, and November 15-16 in Seoul, South Korea.

Via Liliputing

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