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."