USB4 – The New Booming Market of Data Transmission (2)

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As the most popular interface standard, USB (Universal Serial Bus) is widely used to connect various devices such as storage devices, power charging devices and computer peripherals. Every year (Computer, Communication, Consumer Electronics) product manufactures always come up with new products equipped with USB connectors inputting and outputting data. When those products are launched, they would attract your attention. On the other hand, they would make you feel confused about new specifications of USB when you would like to buy a new product. In last chapter (1), we talked about a preliminary concept of USB4. Before going further, the whole USB family will be introduced in this chapter.


USB1.0 & USB 1.1

USB 1.0 was released in Jan. 1996. The data transfer rate is 1.5Mbps called Low-Speed. USB1.1 was released in Sep, 1998. Its data transfer rate was 12Mbps called Full-Speed.


USB 2.0

Released in Apr. 2000, the theoretical transfer speed is up to 480Mbps. (Hi-Speed) An actual maximum transfer speed depends on digital devices. The applications are from Type-A, Type-B, Mini-A, Mini-B, Micro-A and Micro-B connectors. USB started to be widely used in a lot of digital devices in the market.

USB 3.0

Released in Nov. 2008. The transfer speed was greatly increased from 480Mbs to 5Gbps (5Gbps = 625MB/s). USB 3.0 is also called SuperSpeed (SS). The insulator of USB 3.0 connector is blue while USB2.0’s is white.

USB 3.1

In USB 3.1, it is categorized into USB3.1 Gen1 and USB3.1 Gen2. USB3.1 Gen1 replaces the name of USB3.0. The theoretical speed of Gen2 is up to 10Gbs. Type-C was added in.


USB 3.2

In 2017, USB-IF announced an improvement based on USB 3.1 and launched the specification of USB 3.2, which doubled the transmission speed from 10Gbps to 20Gbps. In this standard, USB 3.2 realizes Dual-Channel transmission in Type C. Since Type-C interface can be embedded with pins in dual rows. We use one row of pins on the upper side as one channel and the other row on the lower side as the other channel. Therefore, the speed is double and named USB3.2 Gen2x2. USB3.1 Gen1 and USB3.1 Gen2 were renamed respectively USB3.2 Gen1 and USB3.2 Gen2x1.



USB4 was officially announced in Mar. 2019. The goals of USB4 are a higher data transmission speed and to help “minimize confusion of users”. There are not many interfaces like previous standards. Therefore, the key of this standard is to only use Type C as single interface. The transfer rate is two times higher than USB 3.2. USB4 also supports USB PD (Power Delivery) like the application we mentioned in the 1st chapter. USB4 is born for massive data in nowadays, requiring a higher transmission speed in data storage, input and output. In the next chapter, we will take about a story between USB4 and thunder bolt4. They are the most important roles in 3C products in now and future.


Picture Credits: user3802032 freepik, Wiki

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