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USB4 version 2.0 to arrive with 80Gbps bandwidth: All new features and more


The USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF) announced today the release of the USB4® Version 2.0 specification. This is a major update that will make it possible for USB to work at 80Gbps over the USB Type-C® cable and connector. The upgraded USB4 specification significantly increases the maximum bandwidth of all USB connections. This makes displays, storage, and hubs and docks that use USB work better. Updates have also been made to the USB Type-C and USB Power Delivery (USB PD) specifications to support this higher level of data performance.

USB4 Version 2.0: Features

  1. Up to 80Gbps operation over current 40Gbps USB Type-C passive cables and newly defined 80Gbps active cables using a new physical layer architecture based on PAM3 signal encoding.
  2. The USB Type-C signal interface can be set to send up to 120Gbps in one direction and 40Gbps in the other. This is useful for driving very high-performance USB4-based displays, for example.
    3.Data and display protocol updates to take advantage of increased bandwidth
  3. Enhanced SuperSpeed USB data tunnelling now exceeds 20 Gbps due to USB data architecture improvements.
  4. Compliant with PCI Express® Rev. 4 and DisplayPort Rev. 2.1.
  5. Backward compatibility with all previous USB versions 

To support these new capabilities, there are updated versions of the USB Type-C and USB Power Delivery certifications, in addition to the new USB specification itself. Recall that USB Power Delivery has recently been updated to allow 240W, which means that USB-C ports’ capabilities are expanding swiftly. Users must rely on special branding for authorized items to determine which functions are supported because many of these features, as usual with USB, are optional.

If power delivery is supported, the branding should say how much bandwidth can be sent and how fast it can be sent.  During USB Developer Days 2022, there will be more technical training on the latest changes to the USB4, USB Type-C, and USB PD specifications.

Speaking on the announcement, Brad Saunders, USB-IF Board Chair and CEO, said,

“For engineers, USB4 is defined by its multi-protocol tunneling that architecturally differentiates it from its predecessors – USB 3.2 and USB 2.0. This updated technical specification extends USB4 speed and data protocol performance, enabling manufacturers to develop products that can deliver USB 80Gbps in addition to existing USB 40Gbps and USB 20Gbps to end users.”


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