USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF) has published USB4 Version 2.0 specification. This is a major update to the first version that was announced in 2019. It is still based on the Thunderbolt protocol specification.
Now, in the version 2.0 the speed has increased from 40 Gbps to 80 Gbps of data performance over the USB Type-C cable and connector. The USB Type-C and USB Power Delivery (USB PD) specifications will also be updated to enable this higher level of data performance, said the forum.
There are also protocol updates to enable higher performance USB 3.2, DisplayPort and PCI Express (PCIe) data tunneling to best use the higher available bandwidth.
Key characteristics of the updated USB4 solution include:
- 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.
USB4 specification updates will be published at USB Developer Days 2022 developer events sometime in November. At that time, it will also update branding and marketing guidelines to USB 80 Gbps, both for identifying certified products and certified cables.
Brad Saunders, USB Promoter Group Chairman, said:
Once again following USB tradition, this updated USB4 specification doubles data performance to deliver higher levels of functionality to the USB Type-C ecosystem. Solutions seeing the most benefit from this speed enhancement include higher-performance displays, storage, and USB-based hubs and docks.