USB is about to get crazy fast. Like, 80Gbps fast. As if 40Gbps wasn’t already crazy fast.
The USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF) announced the latest change coming to the USB standard, dubbed USB4 v2.0, that’s set to boost speeds and confusion about which USB-C cables and which USB-C ports do what. Inevitable confusion aside, the promise of faster speeds is very enticing.
Per the announcement, people won’t be able to get these crazy 80Gbps speeds until at least November. That means another couple of months of miserably transferring files at a paltry 40Gbps, which is only fast enough to transfer a game like Apex Legends in like, 11 seconds. Pathetic.
Now, you might be wondering, who needs all this speed? Well, Android P0lice points out that people who use USB-C hubs will likely benefit most from USB4 v2.0 since it will enable displaying an external monitor while hooked up to an external graphics card or transferring data from an external hard drive. If you’re wondering how, well, USB4 v2.0 leverages something called PCIe tunnelling, which is basically the PCIe protocol used to connect GPUs and other peripherals to your motherboard, except over USB4.
Moreover, the new USB4 v2.o standard will continue using the USB-C port. That means people with a USB4-compliant cable can expect up to 80Gbps speeds on USB4 v2.0 ports, once they arrive. Although, this is where things start to get into the confusion again since the marketing and branding about which cables support what and which ports support what is unclear at best.
There are many types of USB-C cables out there, which can do a bunch of different things. Some cables can supply power, while others run USB 2.0, and others do Thunderbolt instead. I’ve got a ton of USB-C cables in my drawer, and it’s always a toss-up if the one I grab will do the thing I need it to do.