Your cable nightmare might soon be over. The USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF) has unveiled the specifications of USB 4.0, as Engadget reports. And USB 4.0 looks a lot like Thunderbolt 3.
While specifications won’t be finalized until later this year, USB 4 should support speeds of 40 Gbps. The USB-IF is using Thunderbolt 3 as the foundation for USB 4.
Intel originally developed the Thunderbolt interface with Apple back in 2011. It was supposed to be a faster and more versatile interface that supports multiple protocols. For instance, you can use Thunderbolt cables and devices to connect displays and hard drives. You can daisy-chain your peripherals, which can be useful for external graphics cards, for instance.
With Thunderbolt 3, Intel added USB 3.1 Gen 2 support, which means that you can plug a USB device to a Thunderbolt port. And Intel adopted the USB-C port. In other words, Thunderbolt ports became USB ports with Thunderbolt capabilities on top. It means that any USB device can be used with a Thunderbolt port. If you’re using a MacBook Pro, you’ve probably taken advantage of that feature.