The USB Promoter Group is hard at work developing the USB4 specification. We met with them at Computex this year, and the good news is that the spec is in its 0.96 version and things are proceeding quickly. The group believes that retail products featuring USB4 will be available by the end of 2020.

Update 16/6: The current USB4 spec is at 0.96.

Being based on Thunderbolt 3 technology and offering up to 40 Gbps bandwidth, USB4 promises to be more than that. In fact, so much more that the USB Promoter Group is considering a new logotype and branding scheme. The current one is already complex enough, so expect some kind of simplification on that front. Meanwhile, USB4 will be backwards compatible with existing USB Type-C devices.

When it comes to availability, USB-IF seems to be optimistic that the specification will be finalized this Summer and actual USB4-supporting devices will be available by the end of 2020. Since Intel knows how to build Thunderbolt 3 controllers, it will certainly use its expertise developing USB4 controllers eventually.

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  • KimGitz - Saturday, June 15, 2019 - link

    Is it possible we see Thunderbolt on the upcoming Intel Xe GPUs? With PCIe 4.0 there is enough bandwidth for both GPU (PCIe 4.0x8) and Thunderbolt (PCIe 4.0x8). You mentioned Apple which got me thinking about the Mac Pro Expansion (MPX) Modules which use a PCIe 3.0x16 for graphics and a PCIe 3.0x8 for Thunderbolt. Intel loves Thunderbolt way more than Apple, they now fully own the tech to the extent of contributing and basing USB4 on Thunderbolt. If we don’t see Thunderbolt on 10nm Ice Lake-SP CPU, maybe we see it on 10nm Xe GPU. Ice Lake SP, Intel Xe GPUs and USB4 all launch in 2020. Reply
  • Santoval - Wednesday, June 12, 2019 - link

    So if the first USB 4 devices will supposedly be released in late 2020 when are the first USB 3.2 devices (and, most importantly, controller support) supposed to become available? It's already mid 2019 and they're nowhere to be seen. Reply
  • TheUnhandledException - Wednesday, June 12, 2019 - link

    Which is why I am skeptical of the late 2020 claim. What usb-if wants to happen and what will happen are likely two different things. I mean we just saw huge number of product announcements from E3 and none involve usb 3.2 (aka usb 3.2 x2 hyper stupid naming quantum speed). Reply
  • Beaver M. - Wednesday, June 12, 2019 - link

    I really dont care anymore, as long as USB-C becomes a standard everywhere very soon, so that even mainboards only have 4 of those at the back instead of 2 USB-A. 5 Gbps or 10 or 40? Who really cares? Need big fat USB-SSDs for that anyway, because everything else is too slow. Reply
  • wr3zzz - Wednesday, June 12, 2019 - link

    How about improve the labeling of type-c 3.0 functions before moving on to bigger and better 4.0? Type-c labeling is a mess right now and a lot of time it's a guessing game of what works and what doesn't. Reply
  • TheUnhandledException - Thursday, June 13, 2019 - link

    It is never going to get fixed. It is one thing I like about TB3. TB3 means a certain set of capabilities. USB4 won't. USB 4 'can' be as capable as TB3 but you won't know what it actually can do without digging into the details (if available). Reply
  • jabber - Friday, June 14, 2019 - link

    All this bandwidth is pointless when copying a UserData folder or many modern system folders with hundreds of thousands of microfiles drop the transfer to 23Kbps...

    Tech guys...please sort out out small file transfers!
    Reply

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