USB-IF updates Type-C, USB4 branding

USB-IF updates Type-C, USB4 branding

Business news |
By Nick Flaherty

The USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF) has updated the branding of USB-C cables and connectors following the launch of the latest version of USB4.

USB4.0 Version 2 adds data rates up to 80Gbit/s, but this creates confusion with the Type-C connectors, which can support the USB3.1, 3.2 and 4.0 protocols.

“USB-IF emphasizes the importance and value of consistent messaging on USB product packaging, marketing materials and advertising. Inconsistent use of terminology creates confusion in the marketplace, and potentially diminishes USB-IF’s trademark rights,” it said.

“The USB Type-C cable and connector specification is a supplement to the USB 3.2 and USB4 specifications, however USB Type-C is not USB 3.2 or USB4. These terms are not interchangeable,” it adds.

So there is new branding to make things simpler. Unlike the Wi-Fi, the USB-IF has gone with the data rates:

  • USB 40Gbps
  • USB 20Gbps
  • USB 10Gbps
  • USB 5Gbps

Version 2.0 of USB4 (although why this is not USB4.2 is unclear) defines data rates up to 80 Gbit/s over USB Type-C cables and connectors. This uses a new physical layer architecture to provide the higher speed on existing 40Gbit/s cables. This will also allow USB3.2 systems to support rates up to 20Gbit/s, hence the focus on the data rates rather the specifications.

The USB Type-C and USB Power Delivery (USB PD) specifications will also be updated to enable this higher level of data performance, ahead of the USB DevDays developer events planned for November in the US and Korea. Protocol updates are also being made to enable higher performance for USB 3.2, DisplayPort and PCI Express (PCIe) data tunneling to access the higher available bandwidth.

“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.

The changes also include new branding for the power rating of USB Power Delivery cables, which suffer from even more potential confusion.

“USB Type-C is not USB Power Delivery,” say the USB-IF. “USB Power Delivery is a protocol/hardware solution that increases USB power capabilities up to 240W. These terms are not interchangeable. If a product features USB Type-C it does not necessarily support USB Power Delivery, USB 3.2, and/or USB4.”

Similarly the new Certified USB Type-C Cable branding will display cable power capabilities in watts, clearly indicating support for 60W or 240W as defined by the USB Power Delivery (USB PD) 3.1 specification.

The USB4 logos will be updated in parallel to unify branding across the Certified USB logo programme.

All of this is key for the single USB-C charger required for equipment that can be shipped in the European Union.

“With the new higher power capabilities enabled by the USB PD 3.1 Specification, which unlocks up to 240W over a USB Type-C cable and connector, USB-IF saw an opportunity to further strengthen and simplify its Certified Logo Program for the end user,” said Jeff Ravencraft, USB-IF President and COO.

“With our updated logos, consumers can easily identify the USB4 performance and USB Power Delivery capabilities of Certified USB-C Cables, which support an ever-expanding ecosystem of consumer electronics from laptops and smartphones to displays and chargers.”

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