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USB 4 Technology will Support Up to 40Gbps Speed

Saad Ullah

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Upgraded USB 4 technology will allow data transfer speeds like never before

Theoretical Double Speed

The latest iteration of Universal Serial Bus (USB) has been announced and it is surprisingly fast. With speeds of up to 40 Gbps, it nearly doubles the speed a USB port or device can achieve on paper. According to CNet, the USB 4 ports will achieve these incredible speed through the accommodation of DisplayPort 2.0, a technology that is used to connect external digital monitors to computers.

Over the years, computer and mobile device manufacturers have been forced to use smaller ports and data connectors as device sizes have shrunk. USB ports, especially the micro USB and the more recent USB C. USB 3, the current standard, works on a number of different USB ports, from the latest type C to the oldest big rectangular USB A ones on older laptops and computers. USB 4 standard will, however, work on only the USB C format.

Current USB 3 technology achieves 20 Gbps on paper, while in reality, the USB 3 version is used at a fixed 5 or 10 Gbps speed cap. How much of the 40 Gbps of USB 4 will be capped is still to be seen.

Another advantage of USB 4 will be the before mentioned DisplayPort 2.0. USB 4 technology can easily support an 8K resolution monitor at a 60Hz refresh rate with a full color display. With some clever compression tools employed by DisplayPort2.0, a 16K display support can be achieved too.

USB Complications

With the USB 4 standard, a large variety of devices will be able to use the USB port. The day is not far when other kinds of ports, such as one for audio, video, networking and power will be of a single USB C connector design. A cable for an audio device or a power will have the same port and head, but the port in the computer is another deal. Not all ports will be designed to handle the different power and data requirements.

Take the new MacBooks for example. The USB C port can be used to power the device, but not other laptops or computers are capable as yet. When it comes to cables, the same applies. A cable designed for data transfer and power rating for an external drive will not be able to power a laptop or any other device. Vice versa, a cable designed for pure power transfer will not be able to transfer data in any condition. This is the most common problem when people are buying USB cables. They rarely see the rating and the quality of the product. Later on, they find that the cable is useless to their purpose and have no choice but to throw it away, wasting their money.

Perhaps a universal standard will evolve for USB 4. Until that is done, be ready to have at least a couple of different cables in your stock to power your devices.

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