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USB4 will support Thunderbolt and double the speed of USB 3.2

Thunderbolt devices will become cheaper in the near future.
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Richard Lai/Engadget

It was just last week when we heard that the 20Gbps USB 3.2 connectivity may show up on new devices later this year, but today, Intel is already talking about an even speedier USB4. At a Taipei event earlier today, the company revealed that this next-gen spec will once again utilize dual channels to achieve 40Gbps speeds, even on existing 40Gbps-certified USB-C cables.

Better yet, thanks to Intel finally offering Thunderbolt 3 to manufacturers with open licensing, USB4 will be integrating this tech and thus effectively becoming the "new" Thunderbolt 3. In other words, USB4 will pretty much be the mother of all wired connectivity options, and will be ready for more powerful PCIe plus DisplayPort devices.

Thunderbolt 3 chart

This is great news for consumers, as this means 40Gbps is the new baseline for all future USB ports, and this in turn will likely be deployed across products much quicker than Thunderbolt 3 did. To date, there are only 463 devices certified with Thunderbolt 3.

It's still early days for USB4 though, as the USB Promoter Group won't be sharing detailed specs until around mid-2019. Furthermore, there's no word on USB4's compatibility with future versions of Thunderbolt; but Intel did clarify that it will continue promoting the Thunderbolt brand alongside USB4. We'll be keeping a close eye on this development, which will likely get an official announcement around the time of Computex Taipei.

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