The USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF) has announced the the next version of their universal connector, the USB 4.

USB 4 is expected to be over twice as fast as its previous generation counterpart, USB 3.2. The former is expected to allow users to transfer data at over 40Gb/s. 40Gb/s speeds were only experienced by USB 3.2 users with the Thunderbolt 3 specifications.

Intel intended to unify Thunderbolt capabilities with the USB connector, and in 2017 they announced that they would bring Thunderbolt to other chipmakers.

USB 4 will be set to allow Thunderbolt 3 capabilities. Thunderbolt was a technology developed by Intel and Apple to attempt to manufacture universal connectors for a variety of products. Thunderbolt ports allow users to use their external displays, hard drives and external graphic cards using a universal connector. Thunderbolt 3 saw the addition of USB 3.1 Gen 2 capabilities and opened up the avenue for users to use their USB devices with Thunderbolt capabilities.

USB 4, with it’s Thunderbolt 3 capabilities, will be able to deliver 100W of power and will be able to power two 4K displays, or a single 5K display. It also has the capability to connect and enable the use of more powerful external graphic cards. Specific cables that facilitate these transfers are required to enjoy the benefits of USB4 with the Thunderbolt 3 capabilities, but any existing Thunderbolt 3 cables and accessories will be compatible with the new ports.

USB 4 will also be compatible with its existing predecessors, USB 3 and USB 2 and will attempt to catch the public’s eye with its compatibility and universal capabilities.

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