External SSD set to catch up with internal SSDs thanks to new chip — ASMedia demoed USB4 v2 silicon that allow transfer speeds of up to 15GBps but the first products won't be out until next year

ASMedia USB4 v2 demo
(Image credit: ASMedia)

ASMedia recently demonstrated its USB4 v2 physical layer (PHY) chips at Computex 2024, which will allow external SSDs to reach speeds of up to 15GBps, potentially matching the performance of internal drives.

The USB4 Version 2.0 specification, released by the USB Implementers Forum in October 2022, introduces several advancements over the previous version. 

It incorporates the new PAM3 signal encoding format, which extends the USB4 bandwidth from 40Gbps to 80Gbps for peer-to-peer connections and allows for asymmetric speeds of 120Gbps/40Gbps.

FPGA-based USB4 Dock

ASMedia's presentation at Computex, titled "Incredible Speed, Exceeding the Limit," covered both USB4 and PCIe Gen5 technologies. The USB4 v2 presentation showed 80Gbps and 120Gbps physical layers, which are capable of dramatically improving the speed at which large data files and high-resolution videos can be transferred. USB4's backward compatibility also ensures seamless integration with existing USB devices.

The PCIe 5.0 PHY chip on show at the same event is tailored for the demanding needs of high-performance computing, big data, and - of course - AI servers. It is set to offer faster transmission speeds, reduced latency, and support for a broader range of high-performance devices. Details on this chip are scare right now, however.

Looking forward, the Taiwanese tech firm says it plans to sample multi-lane PCIe Gen4 Packet Switches by the end of 2024. It is also set to unveil an FPGA-based USB4 Dock at CES 2025.

This future dock, designed for multifunctional workstations, promises up to 40Gbps transmission speeds and up to 240W power delivery. The dock will also offer the usual array of ports including USB A and C, HDMI, DisplayPort, and Ethernet, enabling enhanced connectivity and charging capabilities for multiple devices. 

Pricing and availability of these new products will announced in due course.

ASMedia USB4 v2 demo

(Image credit: ASMedia)

More from TechRadar Pro

Wayne Williams

Wayne Williams is a freelancer writing news for TechRadar Pro. He has been writing about computers, technology, and the web for 30 years. In that time he wrote for most of the UK’s PC magazines, and launched, edited and published a number of them too.