Your USB cable is about to get a huge speed boost

USB Type C
(Image credit: Wikimedia Commons)

Your next USB cable could deliver much faster speeds and greater performance following the announcement of next-generation specifications.

USB 4 version 2.0 is set to bring twice the speed of data performance over current USB Type-C cables and connectors used by many of us today, the body behind the technology has revealed.

The new technology, set to launch later in 2022, should deliver greatly improved connectivity and data transfer speeds - and what's more, you may not even need to splash out on new cables to enjoy the increase in performance.

USB 4 version 2.0

The advances, revealed by the USB Promoter Group, the industry body behind the development of cutting-edge USB technology advances. were made possible by a new physical layer architecture allowing up to 80GBps operation - even when using previous USB-C passive cables, which previously allowed up to 40GBps speeds.

This means that a 40GBps cable bought today would soon be able to deliver double these speeds, with no extra effort required by the user. 

Existing USB-C and USB Power Deliver (PD) specifications will be updated to enable the new levels of performance, with the protocols also backwards-compatible with USB 4 version 1.0, USB 3.2, USB 2.0 and Thunderbolt 3. There's also improved support for DisplayPort and PCIe, where improved data tunnelling will be used to harness the best possible bandwidth.

Including the likes of Apple, HP, Intel, Microsoft and Texas Instruments, the USB Promoter Group says that USB 4 version 2.0 should be a significant step forward for manufacturers and users alike.

“Once again following USB tradition, this updated USB4 specification doubles data performance to deliver higher levels of functionality to the USB Type-C ecosystem,” said Brad Saunders, USB Promoter Group Chairman.

“Solutions seeing the most benefit from this speed enhancement include higher-performance displays, storage, and USB-based hubs and docks.”

More information, including detailed technical specifications into how USB 4 version 2.0 will work, will be revealed in November 2022.

Mike Moore
Deputy Editor, TechRadar Pro

Mike Moore is Deputy Editor at TechRadar Pro. He has worked as a B2B and B2C tech journalist for nearly a decade, including at one of the UK's leading national newspapers and fellow Future title ITProPortal, and when he's not keeping track of all the latest enterprise and workplace trends, can most likely be found watching, following or taking part in some kind of sport.