Just a week after USB-IF announces the new standardization for USB 3.2, we’re already looking at a new USB4 announcement by the USB Promoter Group. Unlike the USB 3.2, USB4 has Intel’s involvement in this – they’ve decided to hand over the Thunderbolt 3.0 to the USB Promoter Group for a greater cause. This allows Thunderbolt 3 support for any upcoming USB (hopefully) while maintaining the compatibility of the previous generation USB 3.2 and USB 2.0.
As you may have already know that the USB 3.2 Gen2x2 aka SuperSpeed USB 20Gbps is capable of 20Gbps data transfer rate as the marketing name suggests. The Thunderbolt 3 on the other hand, offers 40Gpbs data transfer rate, which is two times the rate of what the USB 3.2 Gen2x2 are capable of. Further information of USB4 specifications will be available very soon, which is around the middle of 2019 alongside the updated specifications for USB Type-C.
While things are looking really good for the end-users, Intel are the one that gets the biggest advantage in the market. If you remember Intel’s announcement on its upcoming 10nm Ice Lake processors during CES 2019, the company mentioned their plan to integrate Thunderbolt 3 directly to the processor. Since the Thunderbolt protocol will still be like an Intel proprietary thing, they will pretty much be the first to offer USB4 support on their products, especially for motherboards. For AMD to actually build a similar protocol to tackle with this will be a loss of time, which clearly put them at a disadvantage at this point.