New documentation that supposedly sheds light on Intel’s USB 4 plans, with the USB 4.0 host controller coming in three versions: 0x9A1B, 0x9A1D, and 0x9A13, and it suggests that it will not be compatible with the larger Type A USB ports.
According to the leak, which was shared on Twitter by @_rogame, a well known leaker, an internal document mentions how USB 4.0 comes with USB 3.2 support, yet does not mention USB 2.0 or USB 1.1 support.
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While we expect USB 4 to be backwards compatible to some extent, this new leak suggests that Intel won't be pushing for laptops that come with USB 4 to also have older Type A ports.
Although the number and type of ports is down to manufacturers, it could mean most modern laptops will no longer come with those older ports. If you have peripherals that use those ports, you’re therefore likely to need an adaptor.
[Intel USB4]Intel Processor USB Controller> Device ID 0x9A1B, 0x9A1D, 0x9A13> Power Delivery 3.0, > USB Type-C> USB 40Gbps (USB4) pic.twitter.com/tCWOyxnEtHAugust 10, 2020
Gone but not forgotten
While the loss of Type A ports will be annoying for people who use legacy peripherals, many laptops don’t come with them anyway – MacBooks ditched them years ago.
Also, most new peripherals come with the Type-C connection, and that will work with USB 4.
The leaked specs also suggest Power Delivery 3.0 for charging devices, and confirm max USB 4 speeds of a huge 40Gbps.
For reference, USB 2.0 had max speeds of 480Mbps.
So, while many of us will mourn the loss of Type-A USB ports, the benefits USB 4 seems to be bringing will make that sacrifice a bit easier to swallow.
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Matt is TechRadar's Managing Editor for Core Tech, looking after computing and mobile technology. Having written for a number of publications such as PC Plus, PC Format, T3 and Linux Format, there's no aspect of technology that Matt isn't passionate about, especially computing and PC gaming. Ever since he got an Amiga A500+ for Christmas in 1991, he's loved using (and playing on) computers, and will talk endlessly about how The Secret of Monkey Island is the best game ever made.