The new USB4 is faster and more reliable than ever, capable of transferring large files as well as being compatible with Thunderbolt 3. With this update, the USB still remains the king of the serial buses and will stay as the “One hole to rule them all.”
It has been announced that the USB4 will appear in gadgets sometime around the late 2020s. The USB Promoter groups state that this new USB will revolutionize the way we use technology and that it will be compatible with Thunderbolt 3. USB fans will finally be proud to say that the USB is now truly a “Universal” Standard.
Why is it a big deal?
The Universal Serial Bus, or USB for short, is one of the most convenient things to come out over the past 20 years. As its name implies, the USB was designed to become a universal connector for peripherals to PCs. Because of this, the USB was standardized as the default connections for mouse, keyboards, printers, network adapters, and other external devices.
All except the Thunderbolt Port. The Thunderbolt is very similar to the USB but better. It has the capabilities of the USB port but not vice-versa. It’s very clear that the Thunderbolt is superior to the USB in terms of specs, but it does have its cons. Two major flaws of the Thunderbolt port is that the devices that it comes with are usually expensive, and most Thunderbolt ports are limited to most devices.
With the rise of the USB4, this could mean that future Apple devices won’t be limited to one or two Thunderbolt ports. This is a big plus for Mac users, but it’s also a big plus for PC users as well since the USB4 is a big upgrade to the USB 3.2 and it will definitely change the way people decide on the kinds of laptops they’ll be buying.
What USB4 brings to the table
Fast charging: USB4’s predecessor, the USB 3.2 had some power-delivery functions that allowed for fast charging. However, not all USB 3.2 ports had this function, this changes with USB4, though. All USB4 ports will follow the USB-PD power delivery protocol and allow fast charging for all devices. Most recent gadgets are getting more and more power-hungry and sometimes we don’t have the time to wait for an hour for our gadgets to fully charge. The USB4 will make tablets, phones, and even Chromebooks, more convenient to use especially if you’re traveling. Some of our staff are even considering buying a Chromebook when USB4 comes out.
One hole for all: One of the biggest features of the USB4 is its compatibility with Thunderbolt 3. This happened because Intel gave the specs to Thunderbolt 3 to USB a couple of years ago. The USB4 was created to be compatible with Thunderbolt 3 while also having similar specs.
This act might seem like it will cause problems for multiple companies but instead, it helps collaboration. Manufacturers can decide whether or not to include the USB4 design on their products but with all the hype, we know companies like Apple, Acer, Lenovo, and other manufacturers won’t pass up the chance to use such an amazing technology.
Because of this feature, a lot of people are dubbing USB4 as the “One hole to rule them all.”
Backward Compatibility: Like all USB versions, the USB4 is also backward compatible with its previous versions. Even if you’re using a 5-year-old USB, you probably won’t have any issues connecting with USB4 computers.
However, you might not get the fast transfer speed as advertised if you’re using older hardware like the USB 3.0. It might be compatible but it doesn’t give you the full benefit of the speed of USB4 ports. So, you’ll have to buy it eventually if you want to transfer large amounts of files within minutes.
Lastly, USB Type A and Type B ports might have problems with USB4 as you might need external adapters and connectors for them to connect properly. So, the USB4 isn’t fully backward compatible but Type A and Type B ports are already depreciated and they won’t be around in the near future.
That’s just how technology works, the old things get replaced and new technology will revolutionize how we do things. USB4’s case is very similar to how AI is changing education.
Insanely fast transfer speeds: Aside from Thunderbolt compatibility, the boost in transfer speeds is probably one of the major reasons why people are getting USB4. Most modern-day gadgets have at least 250GB of Data with high-end laptops having an SSD of 1TB or above. Thanks to the increase of storage space, more and more people are able to save large files on their devices as well. Most of these files are videos, games, and applications that we use daily.
Well, the USB4 is capable of transferring up to 40 GB/s making it more convenient for travelers to transfer their Vlogs and video files without waiting for a long time, as well for gamers to back up their game files on their USB. To give you some context, USB4’s predecessor the USB 3.2 was capable of transferring up to 20 GB/s, that’s half what USB4 is capable of!
We’ve been waiting for a new USB to come out and the USB4 is exactly what we’ve been hoping for. The new USB4 is faster and more reliable than ever, capable of transferring large files as well as being compatible with Thunderbolt 3. With this update, the USB still remains the king of the serial buses and will stay as the “One hole to rule them all.”