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by John W. Simek, Vice President of Sensei Enterprises, Inc.

Screaming Fast USB4

September 8, 2022

As if we don’t have enough to confuse us. Slowly, but surely, the world is looking to implement a standard for USB connections. USB-C is pretty universal except for Apple’s iPhones. Some countries are even passing laws to require the USB-C connection. To further confuse you, a new USB standard is on the horizon. USB4 is the next generation of USB connections and Ars Technica has a post with the specifics comparing USB4 to Thunderbolt 4.

Basically, USB4 is a faster transfer rate that uses the same USB-C connection as USB3. The post has multiple tables showing the detailed comparisons. Even though there is a new logo to designate a USB4 device, how will you know if your cable meets the USB4 or USB3 spec? I haven’t seen anything that would be a permanent marker for the faster specification. Some manufacturers designate USB3 connections with a blue color. Will USB4 have a unique color as well? What about the cables? Can you look at a USB-C connector and know that is will take advantage of USB4? I’m hoping that there will be some easy way to identify the new USB4 capable items without users having to affix their own labels. The good news is that USB4 is backward compatible so things will just run slower if you have slower USB3 cables.

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