The USB Promoter Group Announces USB4 Specification

Discussion in 'HardForum Tech News' started by cageymaru, Mar 4, 2019.

  1. cageymaru

    cageymaru [H]ard|News

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    The USB Promoter Group has announced the pending release of the USB4 specification that is based on the Thunderbolt protocol contributed by Intel Corporation. USB4 compliments and builds upon the existing USB 3.2 and USB 2.0 specifications, doubles the bandwidth of USB, and enables multiple simultaneous data and display protocols. Key features of the USB4 solution include: Two-lane operation using existing USB Type-C cables and up to 40 Gbps operation over 40 Gbps certified cables. Multiple data and display protocols to efficiently share the total available bandwidth over the bus. Backward compatibility with USB 3.2, USB 2.0 and Thunderbolt 3. The specification is expected to be completed in the middle of 2019, but The Verge is reporting that USB4 devices won't be available until 18 months later. When the USB4 specification is completed, an updated USB Type-C Specification will be made to comprehend USB4 bus discovery, configuration and performance requirements.

    "Releasing the Thunderbolt protocol specification is a significant milestone for making today's simplest and most versatile port available to everyone," said Jason Ziller, General Manager, Client Connectivity Division at Intel. "By collaborating with the USB Promoter Group, we're opening the doors for innovation across a wide range of devices and increasing compatibility to deliver better experiences to consumers."

    "The primary goal of USB is to deliver the best user experience combining data, display and power delivery over a user-friendly and robust cable and connector solution," said Brad Saunders, USB Promoter Group Chairman. "The USB4 solution specifically tailors bus operation to further enhance this experience by optimizing the blend of data and display over a single connection and enabling the further doubling of performance."
     
  2. Sulphademus

    Sulphademus Limp Gawd

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    Whatever, as long as they use only a single connector type!
     
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  3. Lakados

    Lakados [H]ard|Gawd

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    Is it actually USB 4, or is it usb 3.2 Z mini +++. I can't figure out what the USB people are doing with their names any more, at this point I think they are just naming their shit after what ever this one guys senile old doorman says in the morning. USB 4.squirrel! coming this fall.
     
  4. mjz_5

    mjz_5 2[H]4U

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    I don't understand what all these engineers are thinking.. for example, HDMI and Mini HDMI, why not just make everything mini HDMI and get it over with
     
  5. zkostik

    zkostik Gawd

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    This is likely due to mechanical reliability outside of consumer device sector. I'd guess that backwards compatibility plays a big role as well.
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2019
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  6. jphoto

    jphoto n00b

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    Mini-HDMI is a horrific connector and that is a terrible, terrible idea.
     
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  7. BloodyIron

    BloodyIron 2[H]4U

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    I really hope they get their fucking heads on straight with the naming conventions here.

    USB 4.0, 4.1, 4.2. It doesn't need to be more complicated than that.

    Oh, and I agree with the earlier sentiment. ONE CONNECTOR TYPE.

    Plus, let's revisit the connector for internal front USB, the 3.x one is a pig and a leverage issue...
     
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  8. Lakados

    Lakados [H]ard|Gawd

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    But I still don't like the C connector, maybe its just the desktops I have around here but everything falls out of them, they are always wiggling loose or falling out or blah blah blah. Either way everybody hates them on their desktops, laptops on the other hand they only hate having to carry all those god damned dongles.
     
  9. Zareek

    Zareek Limp Gawd

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    One connector to rule them all? I hope so...

    Oh and after what the Verge pulled no one should be reading their crap or mentioning them in articles. As far as I am concerned the entire company is dead and gone.
     
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  10. RealBeast

    RealBeast Gawd

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    What fun is that?
    Things would just connect without adapters and shit?
    Nah.
    That'll never work. ;)
     
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  11. bigdogchris

    bigdogchris [H]ard as it Gets

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    I was almost expecting them to announce USB 3.3
     
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  12. brentsg

    brentsg [H]ard|Gawd

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    I don't even read the USB spec articles anymore. I honestly don't understand what the fuck they think they are doing.

    I'm all for progress but damn..
     
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  13. BloodyIron

    BloodyIron 2[H]4U

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    Everyone around me loves them, and I haven't observed the loose stuff you're describing here. So maybe those are just not up to spec ports/cables...

    Seriously, USB-C is way better than A/B of any of the previous flavours. Not just for size, but the fact it's reversible, and other reasons.

     
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  14. Lakados

    Lakados [H]ard|Gawd

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    I think it is the ports on the back of the Gigabyte boards, with those same cables we have 0 issues on the laptops (Dell / Apple) Won't matter in another year we should have all the desktops phased out and replaced with newer model Laptops and USB C docking stations by then Still going to be living in dongle hell for another few years at least until the industry phases out the A and B and all their mini and micro variants.
     
  15. BloodyIron

    BloodyIron 2[H]4U

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    At least for the USB part I mean. Like, no more USB A, or B, or Mini or whatever. Just USB-C. But naturally you can adapt that to HDMI/DP or non-USB type ports.

     
  16. BloodyIron

    BloodyIron 2[H]4U

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    It's coming. But just like USB 2.0, it takes time. Fortunately way less time than USB 2.0 took lol XD

     
  17. Anarchist4000

    Anarchist4000 [H]ard|Gawd

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    I'd still consider making an exception for plugs with added power delivery. The ones that could in theory handle 100W to drive some devices. Or possibly for docking stations with lots of bandwidth and IO.
     
  18. mashie

    mashie Mawd Gawd

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    All we need now is a USB4 hub and the ability to run IP over this. 40Gbit LAN here we come.
     
  19. Dead Parrot

    Dead Parrot 2[H]4U

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    Wish the Universal Serial Bus group would crack open a dictionary and look up "Universal". So far, USB hasn't been very Universal.
     
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  20. ryan_975

    ryan_975 [H]ardForum Junkie

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    I'd say being able to plug in keyboards, mice, printers, various type of storage, audio/video/network adapters, etc without having to worry about IRQ/IO conflicts, which COM/LPT port you were using, how many word, stop, and parity bits were needed at which baud rate, or if the port was bidirectional, ECP or EPP capable made USB pretty universal.
     
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  21. Kdawg

    Kdawg Gawd

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    i've had thunderbolt3 for 2 years and havent connected a single tb device to it yet
     
  22. exiled350

    exiled350 Gawd

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    RS-232 will be here long after the machines rise. Suck it Legacy-free.
     
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  23. Skull_Angel

    Skull_Angel [H]ard|Gawd

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    I could see that going over well in devices with poor power regulators and warning stickers like "Warning: do not connect hi/low-power devices!".
     
  24. Spidey329

    Spidey329 [H]ardForum Junkie

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    True, many simple devices just use a translation layer of hardware for RS-232 anyways as it's still widely used in basic microprocessors you may put in some electronics (like a PIC or AT).

    Modern power regulator IC's are smart enough to detect the capabilities available, the issue will be with the usual round of Chinese counterfeits and cheap components, that's where the fires would happen.
     
  25. Dead Parrot

    Dead Parrot 2[H]4U

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    Except it isn't quite that simple. We have traded IRQ, Com, baud, etc settings for multiple cable types, speed capabilities, power output mismatches, etc. Not exactly universal when you need a bag of different cables to be sure you can connect gizmo A to gizmo B. And sometimes we still have to load up special USB drivers for gizmo A so gizmo B can talk to it.

    In some ways it is better. In some aspects we have traded one set of problems for a new set.

    As others have said, pick ONE cable design and make it truly Universal. Both ends the same. Neither end cares which way is up. One set of USB chip protocols so OS providers can include basic drivers meaning no end user supplied special drivers needed for the peripheral to talk to the main device. You should be able to take a USB cable, plug one random end into the PC and the other into the gizmo and the OS can show in the Control Panel that the gizmo is a HP LJ1200 and it is on and ready to print. At that point control can be turned over to application software which might need additional drivers to properly output stuff to the printer.
     
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  26. BloodyIron

    BloodyIron 2[H]4U

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    AFAIK you can get USB-C cables rated for that, so not sure why you think otherwise?

     
  27. Dodge245

    Dodge245 Limp Gawd

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    A requirement of the USB C Connector is that it clips in, it should not be falling out unless the desktops/cables you use do not conform to the standard. You should need almost 1 kilogram of force to unplug the cable https://www.usb.org/sites/default/files/CabConn_3_0_Compliance_Document_20101020.pdf

     
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  28. Monkey34

    Monkey34 [H]ardness Supreme

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    Make one connector. Period.

    Backwards compatibility can be handled for a season with adapters.
     
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  29. CombatChrisNC

    CombatChrisNC [H]ard|Gawd

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    As true as it's ever been.

    https://xkcd.com/927/

    Huzzah for bandwidth and wattage. Now slow down so you can actually get market saturation.
     
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  30. ryan_975

    ryan_975 [H]ardForum Junkie

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    We still had multiple cables before USB. Did you need a RJ11, DE-9, DA-15, DB-25, DD-50, or a Centronics 36 cable? Were the ends female, male, or one of each? Did the wires need to be straight through, or did they need to be crossed?

    USB specified one cable with two connectors: type A for hosts/hubs that provide power and type B for downstream devices that may consume power but not provide it. The two types prevented power from being looped by two hosts devices, potentially frying one of them. Micro and mini variants came along a few years later for devices that were too small to put a full-size connector on (e.g. phones).

    I'll agree that USB-C, which came around over 15 years after USB was introduced, could have been designed MUCH better that it is.

    This is pretty much how it works today. That USB protocol you're wanting is called xHCI. The rest is handled with device classes
     
  31. zkostik

    zkostik Gawd

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    Except it doesn't work that way in a real world and full size connectors have mechanical advantages. You need that if you are running long cables with proper shielding, adding adapters is not a good solution and it degrades signal and adds more points of failure. So while I personally would like to see a single connector for convenience, it isn't a best idea in practice as there's difference purpose for either.
     
  32. Darunion

    Darunion 2[H]4U

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    For me the bigger and more rugged the connector the better. The balance between rugged and safe release (for when you drop your phone with a cable hanging out of it) is a hard thing to work with. So many people break connectors by using the phone while it is plugged in and causing a lot of strain. For larger or non-mobile devices a large connector is fine and preferred for reliability.

    Working in RMA's I have found so many micro-usb cables plugged in reverse but forced in destroying the connector. So a reversible connector is for sure important, though it does increase cost but is worth it for me.
     
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  33. defaultluser

    defaultluser I B Smart

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    Everything uses the same connector type. In fact USB C was what brought Thunderbolt back from the dead.

    Unfortunately the cables will NOT be the same, and the 40gbs Thunderbolt cables are still going to be active-only.

    The only change here is Intel finally opened-up the specs on Thunderbolt, so now they can make it an official part of the USB spec and there will be 3rd-party controllers (or support integrated on the next AMD chip).

    They're just making the old hackjob that was Thunderbolt 3 riding on top of USB-C more official now. This is good for the USB spec, because we will finally have a low-latency option you can add to fast external nVME drives, while still supporting the fallback usb3.x modes on older motherboards. Because PCIe has an order-of-magnitude lower latency than USB 3.2.

    When you have mass adoption, prices on these combo USB4 chips will fall fast.
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2019
  34. Brian_B

    Brian_B 2[H]4U

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    I miss Magsafe. It wasn't really feasible for smaller devices (although I'm sure someone smart could figure it out), but it was great on the laptops.
     
  35. Mohonri

    Mohonri [H]ardness Supreme

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    Sony's Xperia Z1/3/5 all had magnetic charging (but no data) cables.
     
  36. mjz_5

    mjz_5 2[H]4U

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    This saved my 2012 Macbook many times