A nice explainer on the new USB4 spec: Thunderbolt 3, 40Gbps, and less confusion


Meet USB4, which promises to simply the USB naming scheme and integrate the high-bandwidth Thunderbolt 3 specification. Just a week after the upcoming USB 3.2 specification’s branding scheme threatened to confuse PC buyers, the next USB spec is trying to resolve it all.


From a technical standpoint, USB4 is good news, promising to take the small jumble of USB specifications, form factors, and branding and consolidate them into something more understandable for a general audience.

And this, from the USB4 announcement itself:

With over 50 companies actively participating in the final stages of review of the draft specification, the USB4 specification is on track to be published around the middle of 2019. Coincident with the release of the USB4 specification, the release of an updated USB Type-C Specification will be made to comprehend USB4 bus discovery, configuration and performance requirements.

This feels like the USB Promotor Group is really trying to wrap their hands around the spec, corral the confusion. What I’d really love to see is a labeling scheme that takes all the guesswork out of “will this cable work with this port?” kinds of issues.