What is the difference between USB 3.1 and USB 4.0_1

The most awaited release in the USB world, the USB4, was speculated to release in the year 2020. Let’s take a detailed look at what can be expected and how different is it from its older conventions.

What is USB4?

The USB4 is the recent advent in the USB specifications, it is scheduled to release soon, and it will make your gadgets transfer content much faster with its upgraded speed. As announced by the USB Promoter group, the new USB standard will include Thunderbolt 3, increased speed and will be compatible with many of the existing standards

What is the difference between USB 3.1 and USB 4.0?

To know about the difference between USB 3.1 and USB 4.0, we can take a look at its hierarchy of evolution.

USB 3.0 first made its debut in 2008, with a transfer speed of 5 Gbps

USB-C or the Type-C made its debut in the year 2014 which used USB 3.1 technology, the new connector style took over the old design and it could be inserted either way up.

The USB 3.2 was later released in 2017 offering data rates up to 20 Gbps

Here’s a look at the quick progression:

Naming Convention



Maximum Length

USB 3.2 Gen 1

USB 3.0


5 Gbps


USB 3.2 Gen 2

USB 3.1


10 Gbps


USB 3.2 Gen 1x2


10 Gbps


USB 3.2 Gen 2x2

USB 3.2


20 Gbps




40 Gbps


Benefits of USB4?

The new USB 4 standard has three main benefits over the previous USB versions:

- Maximum speed of 40 Gbps: By using two lane cables, it would be able to operate at a speed of 40 Gbps for some devices, which is the same speed as Thunderbolt 3

- Compatible with Thunderbolt 3 devices: Some of the USB4 implementations are expected to work with Thunderbolt 3 devices, it is also backward compatible with USB 3.2, USB 3.1, USB 3.0, USB 2.0

- Better bandwidth allocation for video and data: If you are using USB4 to transport both data and video at the same time, the bandwidth will be allocated accordingly. So, if the video transfer needs on 20 percent of the bandwidth, the remaining 80 percent will be free for transferring files

When is the USB4 scheduled to release?

Although an official launch date has not been announced yet. The specifications for its standards were announced in early September 2019, hence USB4 was initially expected to be incorporated by the end of 2020