Phwoar! USB 4 gets the go-ahead, and it's faster than ever

(Image credit: Getty)

The USB Implementation Forum has revealed the final specifications for the upcoming USB 4 standard. The big news is that, at 40Gbit/s, it’ll be twice as fast as the current fastest version of USB 3.2. The specs are very similar to the Thunderbolt 3 standard, largely because USB 4 is based on Intel’s Thunderbolt protocol.

USB 4 devices are expected to be available in 2020, with USB 4 itself being backward compatible with Thunderbolt 3, and USB versions as old as USB 2.0. The connector is the reversible Type-C plug to which we’re now getting well accustomed, enabling cross-compatibility with Thunderbolt 3 ports.

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Ben Andrews

Ben is the Imaging Labs manager, responsible for all the testing on Digital Camera World and across the entire photography portfolio at Future. Whether he's in the lab testing the sharpness of new lenses, the resolution of the latest image sensors, the zoom range of monster bridge cameras or even the latest camera phones, Ben is our go-to guy for technical insight. He's also the team's man-at-arms when it comes to camera bags, filters, memory cards, and all manner of camera accessories – his lab is a bit like the Batcave of photography! With years of experience trialling and testing kit, he's a human encyclopedia of benchmarks when it comes to recommending the best buys.