The USB Promoter Group just announced the release of the long-awaited specifications of the next USB4 protocol that will deliver a faster speed up to 40Gbp.

USB4 combines the Thunderbolt and USB protocols with the goal of practically making Thunderbolt technology available without paying royalties. This will result in higher availability and lower prices for all Thunderbolt accessories.

Since USB4 is based on Thunderbolt 3, it will offer data transfer speeds of up to 40 Gbps, which is twice the bandwidth of the USB 3.2 Gen 2 × 2 specifications. The USB4 Thunderbolt 3 protocol also implies that the specifications support up to two 4K displays or a 5K display on a single cable. Apple has been using the Thunderbolt 3 port for years.

USB4 will use the USB-C connector design and will be backward compatible with USB 3.2 and USB 2.0.

Over 50 companies actively participate in the final stages of the revision of the draft USB4 specifications, including Apple. The first compatible devices should arrive in 2021.

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