Essentially, the publication of the spec doesn’t change much that we already knew about it. It is based on Thunderbolt and has the following stand out features:
- Two-lane operation using existing USB Type-C cables and up to 40Gbps operation over 40Gbps certified cables
- Multiple data and display protocols that efficiently share the maximum aggregate bandwidth
- Backward compatibility with USB 3.2, USB 2.0 and Thunderbolt 3
So that’s an increase in speed without the hassle of coping with new connections as it will use the same USB-C connecter design as USB 3.
The new information it does give us though is a timeframe for all this. With technical training on the new spec included in its upcoming USB Developer Days, we can confidently expect to see USB4 products in the wild by 2021, possibly even slightly earlier given that Thunderbolt is such a known quantity.
USB-C connector pic: shutterstock