What is USB4? Differences from Thunderbolt 4, older USB versions are explained

Getty Images | Arich Lawson

USB has come a long way since the 12Mbps days of the 90s. It says goodbye to USB-B and ditches USB-A in favor of a slimmer, reversible USB-C connector. Data transfer rates have increased dramatically, allowing high-resolution monitors, fast external storage, and powerful systems to run multiple devices from USB4, the latest open standard from the USB Implementers Forum.

USB4 integrates the USB and Intel Thunderbolt protocols for the first time, expanding the capabilities of USB while separating the technology into different performance classes. The addition of features such as dynamic bandwidth allocation ensures that USB4 is the most advanced USB generation. Although there are PCs, docks and cables that support USB4, we haven’t seen it yet Everything Protocols such as running an eGPU without Intel branding can be done.

With all this going on, we thought it was a good time to focus on the latest and greatest generation of USB. We’ve created an easy update for all things, breaking down various key aspects of the spec, from protocol tunneling, to alt mode and power delivery.

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