Advantages of USB4 | disadvantages of USB4

This page covers advantages and disadvantages of USB4 and its basics. It mentions benefits or advantages of USB4 and drawbacks or disadvantages of USB4.

What is USB4?

USB promoter group has published USB4 specifications in August 2019 recently. It succeeds previous USB version series 3.2 in order to improve transfer speed. Moreover it is compatible with Thunderbolt 3. It's connector shape is different and hence requires Hub or appropriate adapter to interface with previous versions of USB cables.

USB4 cable

The key features of USB4 are as follows.
• Two-lane operation using USB Type-C cables
• Maximum up to 40 Gbps operation over 40 Gbps certified cables
• Multiple data & display protocols in order to share total bandwidth efficiently over the bus
• USB4 is backward compatibile with USB 3.2, USB 2.0, Thunderbolt 3

Benefits or advantages of USB4

Following are the benefits or advantages of USB4:
➨It offers speed upto 40 Gbps with two lane cables. This is equivalent to Thunderbolt 3.
➨Compatibility with Thumderbolt is optional in the specifications, hence one will find some USB4 to be compatible with Thunderbolt 3.0 as per implementations by the design manufacturers.
➨Bandwidth allocation is dynamic and hence it is appropriately shared as per need. For example you would like to transport data and video simultaneoulsy and video requires 20% of bandwidth, then rest of the 80% of bandwidth is allocated for data transfer. Let us say video requires 10 Gbps, then rest of 30 Gbps is allocated for data transfer.
➨It supports three speed levels viz. 10Gbps, 20Gbps and 40Gbps. This helps to save power as speeds are appropriately used as per application devices. For example, the smartphones and chromebooks use lower speeds where as laptops use higher speed.
➨USB4 is backward compatible and hence USB 4 works with USB 3.2, USB 3.1, USB3.0 and USB2.0 devices/ports.
➨All the USB4 support USB PD (Power Delivery) standard in order to carry electricity to high power devices. These allow high wattages and better management of power.

Drawbacks or disadvantages of USB4

Following are the drawbacks or disadvantages of USB4:
➨It requires type-C connector. Hence one has to purchase Hub or Adapter to interface with other USB type devices. This increases cost to the user.
➨As the development takes some time, the USB4 products are not available until 2020.
➨USB4 requires more expensive components compare to USB 3.2 standard, hence it is more costly to manufacture than USB3.2 version.

Also refer advantages and disadvantages of previous USB interfaces >>.

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