Things would soon become tougher when you decide to purchase USB-based accessories and drives, as the USB Promoter Group has announced the latest specification — USB4. Made with the Thunderbolt 3 protocol that Intel has developed, the latest specification USB devices would be able to attain a maximum throughput of 40Gbps, which is twice the maximum speed of what is being offered by USB 3.2 devices.
Just to clear a possible confusion, USB 3.2 refers to both USB 3.1 Gen 1 and USB 3.1 Gen 2. These two were previously known as USB 3.0 and USB 3.1 and that was until a rollout of changes were made by the group in the past weeks. Now that the specification is rolled out, it would be adopted by manufacturers, thus making the way for faster transfer speeds and bandwidth capacities in the long run.
Probably the most important factor here is that USB4 is being powered by Thunderbolt 3, which would be a familiar thing for Apple users. Thunderbolt 3 support also brings the capability to connect other devices like external GPUs and high-speed charging. Because there is backward compatibility with the previous USB3.2 devices, there is nothing to worry about either.
There are, however, a few questions to be answered in the long run. For instance, it should be noted that a wide variety of manufacturers are using USB 2.0 over USB Type C connectors, a reason why smartphones do have a pathetic speed for data transfer via USB. On the other hand, Chromebooks and other tablets may be picking up this standard quickly than others do.
In the past decade, the whole ordeal of USB connectivity has come across different upgrades, but the speeds haven’t changed for the practical user. However, given the versatility of USB4.0, the future offers a little line of hope.