The USB Promoter Group is hard at work developing the USB4 specification. We met with them at Computex this year, and the good news is that the spec is in its 0.96 version and things are proceeding quickly. The group believes that retail products featuring USB4 will be available by the end of 2020.

Update 16/6: The current USB4 spec is at 0.96.

Being based on Thunderbolt 3 technology and offering up to 40 Gbps bandwidth, USB4 promises to be more than that. In fact, so much more that the USB Promoter Group is considering a new logotype and branding scheme. The current one is already complex enough, so expect some kind of simplification on that front. Meanwhile, USB4 will be backwards compatible with existing USB Type-C devices.

When it comes to availability, USB-IF seems to be optimistic that the specification will be finalized this Summer and actual USB4-supporting devices will be available by the end of 2020. Since Intel knows how to build Thunderbolt 3 controllers, it will certainly use its expertise developing USB4 controllers eventually.

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  • TheUnhandledException - Wednesday, June 12, 2019 - link

    That seems optimistic given how slow the move from 5Gbps to 10 Gbps has been and I haven't seen a single usb 3.2 device or host on the market yet.
  • Meaker10 - Wednesday, June 12, 2019 - link

    Thunderbolt products are already on the market so it's more of a tweak rather than a new standard.
  • Flunk - Wednesday, June 12, 2019 - link

    This is basically just making Thunderbolt 3 part of the USB standard.
  • TheUnhandledException - Wednesday, June 12, 2019 - link

    I am sure TB will be updated again. TB4 at 80 Gbps? However TB has generally lagged behind the underlying PCIe spec by three years. I wouldn't expect to see TB4 before 2022 and TB5 may never happen at least not just routing 4 PCIe 5 lanes given the serious constraints on even internal PCIe 5.
  • TheUnhandledException - Wednesday, June 12, 2019 - link

    Oops replied to the wrong post. Come on anand allow us to delete or modify posts.
  • Skeptical123 - Thursday, June 13, 2019 - link

  • Santoval - Wednesday, June 12, 2019 - link

    PCIe 4.0 should allow 80 Gbps with the same lanes, but the cables will need to have a much higher quality to sustain the signal integrity, while passive cables will probably need to be even shorter than today. PCIe 5.0 (for TB5 and 160 Gbps) might never happen with passive cables, unless perhaps extensive internal shielding between the wires is employed.
  • Diogene7 - Wednesday, June 12, 2019 - link

    I agree. I wish there would be a Thunderbolt 3.1 or 4.0 with 80Gbps that would support HDMI 2.1 (up to 48Gbps), Ethernet 10GbE, USB 4.0...

    It would finally allow to replace HDMI connectors on TVs with universal USB-C connectors with support of 80Gbps Thunderbolt 4.0 / 3.1, and therefore connect a smartphone, computer, USB stick,... with a USB-C cable !!!
  • TheUnhandledException - Wednesday, June 12, 2019 - link

    TVs will always use HDMI. They could have used DVI and later they could have used Displayport. The TV OEMS want a standard they and only they control. That standard is HDMI. It is the reason why no TV has a displayport port not even one because doing so would reduce the necessity of HDMI connectors on computers.
  • Diogene7 - Wednesday, June 12, 2019 - link

    It is hard to predict the future of technology 5 to 10 years in the future...

    So I would say that it is difficult to predict what a TV migh look like in 2025 or 2030, but I am hopefull that it will integrate at least some Thunderbolt USB-C connectors as it would allow to slim down TVs and use a USB-C cable to plug one or several external Thunderbolt docks on it...

    I believe that TV manufacturer will feel pressure with time to integrate at least one Thunderbolt USB-C connector to connect a laptop to the TV, as more and more laptops are getting thinner and may soon come equipped with only Thunderbolt USB-C connector (like Apple MacBook Pro computers...)

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