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The USB Promoter Group, the standardization organization for USB, released the first details of USB4 version 2.0. The specification upgrades USB-C and allows data rates of up to 80 Gbps.

The initial specifications are a significant upgrade from the current standard. USB4 version 2.0 allows up to 80 Gbps of data traffic over USB-C cables and connectors. The USB-C and USB Power Delivery (USB PD) specifications were updated to handle the increased rates and traffic.

USB4 2.0

80 Gbps capacity is delivered by a new physical architecture layer that combines the 40 Gbps capabilities of existing USB-C passive cables with newly defined 80 Gbps USB-C active cables.

USB 3.2, DisplayPort and PCIe data tunneling are being updated to support higher performance and bandwidth. USB 3.2 data tunneling speeds will exceed 20 Gbps. In addition, the specification is backward compatible with USB4 1.0, USB 3.2, USB 2.0 and Thunderbolt 3.

Application in docks or hubs

According to The Register, the new specification is not intended for a single connection. The capacity is best distributed through multiple devices connected to a hub or dock. This should benefit modern PC manufacturers, who ship devices with fewer and fewer USB-C ports to limit device weight and size. The 80 Gbps USB-C specification helps devices handle external displays and storage.

The release date of the first compatible devices is unknown. According to the USB Promoter Group, the current specifications are mainly intended for developers, and should eventually lead to new connectors and cables. Further details will be published in November.

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