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First 40-gigabit USB4 products shipping as soon as late 2020

Even though standards like USB-C and USB 3.2 are still gaining traction, the first devices with USB4 still using the USB-C connector should arrive towards the end of 2020, according the USB Promoter Group.

2018 iPad Pro with Hyper hub



While the standard is currently in a "0.7" release state, a variety of details are already known, Anandtech reported. The standard will for instance be based on Thunderbolt 3, but unlike current USB-C accessories operate at that standard's full 40 gigabits per second. Current USB-C cables are interoperable with Thunderbolt but can never go faster than 20 gigabits via USB 3.2, and more frequently run at 10 or even 5 gigabits.

The Promoter Group is further promising "multiple simultaneous data and display protocols," and backwards compatibility with USB 3.2, Thunderbolt 3, and USB 2.0.

An official USB4 specification is anticipated this summer. The standard is considered to be such a radical change that the Promoter Group is contemplating new logos and branding.

Apple will likely want to adopt USB4 as quickly as possible on Macs, given its rapid adoption of both Thunderbolt and USB-C in the past. Less certain is when the technology will migrate to the iPad Pro — which already has USB-C — and whether it will come at all to the iPhone. The company has so far resisted switching iPhones away from Lightning, even as USB-C becomes increasingly de facto on Android devices.