Tuesday, December 06, 2022

USB4 2.0: USB interface up to 80 Gbit/s . receives an update

USB4, the current version of the Universal Computer Interface, is receiving an update. With USB4 in version 2.0, the maximum data transfer rate is to be doubled to 80 Gbit/s. Protocol updates should ensure better performance when tunneling USB 3.2, DisplayPort, and PCIe.

The name clash never ends

Many will lay their heads over the title of the message, as the USB standards with their unfortunate nomenclature can hardly be ignored. For example, USB4 Gen 2×2 may lag behind “USB4” with 20 Gbit/s or USB4 Gen 3×2 with a previous maximum speed of 40 Gbit/s. During the renaming “USB 3.0” became USB 3.2 Gen 1 with 5 Gbit/s. But there is also USB 3.2 Gen 2 with 10 Gbit/s or USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 with 20 Gbit/s.

Now the USB Promoter Group, as the body responsible for standards, is stirring up the chaos in the latest version as well.

USB4 2.0 with double throughput

With USB4 2.0, the maximum speed is increased to 80 Gbit/s via the USB-C connector. Whether this would require a new cable is only unclear. When using an existing, inactive USB-C cable, “up to 80 Gbps” Speech. But there are also new active USB-C cables for guaranteed 80 Gbit/s. There is backwards compatibility with USB4 version 1.0, USB 3.2 and Thunderbolt 3.

  • Up to 80Gbps operation based on a new physical layer architecture, using existing 40Gbps USB Type-C passive cables and newly defined 80Gbps USB Type-C active cables.
  • Updates to data and performance protocols to make better use of increased available bandwidth
    • The USB data architecture update now enables USB 3.2 data tunneling to exceed 20 Gbps.
    • Updated to align with the latest versions of DisplayPort and PCIE specifications.
  • Backwards compatibility with USB4 version 1.0, USB 3.2, USB 2.0 and Thunderbolt™ 3.

Also speeds up tunneling with DisplayPort and PCIE

Tunneling of data or tunneling, since the word comes from English, should be accelerated with USB4 2.0. This means translation and transmission of data to other protocols. Modern USB interfaces with C-connectors, for example, can also transmit image and network signals.

Protocol updates are promised with USB4 2.0, with USB 3.2, DisplayPort and PCI Express also expected to benefit from increased bandwidth. For example, USB 3.2 allows tunneling in excess of 20 Gbit/s. In addition, the interface “Latest versions of DisplayPort and PCIE specificationsSo that would mean support for DisplayPort 2.0 as well as PCIE 5.0.

However, details on USB4 version 2.0 will only be available later, possibly before USB DevDays in November, when the final specifications are published.

The already long list of past USB standards will thus get even longer. The problem is that users have to first take a closer look at what “USB4” means in a product, then it escalates even further.

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