The USB Promoter Group announced USB4 2.0 on Thursday, a relatively minor but significant change to the existing USB4 specification. Simply put, it doubles the maximum bandwidth to 80 gigabits per second, tunneling higher bandwidth display and aligning it with newer DisplayPort and PCIe specifications.
USB4 2.0 devices still use the USB-C connector and remain backward compatible with USB4 Version 1.0, USB 3.2, USB 2.0, and Thunderbolt 3.
Where USB4 was limited to 40 Gbps, the new 2.0 version of the specification doubles that to 80 Gbps, using existing 40 Gbps USB Type-C passive cables and newly defined 80 Gbps USB Type-C active cables. The initial USB4 specification required DisplayPort throughput of 10 Gbps and provided optional passthrough of 20 Gbps, but the USB4 2.0 specification provides the faster speeds needed for today’s best high-performance displays.
When will we see USB4 2.0 ports on Macs? Apple usually supports these new standards fairly quickly: The USB-C ports on the current MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, and Mac Studio support USB4 along with Thunderbolt 3 or 4. Given the timing of this announcement and the relatively simple change involved. , it’s reasonable to expect USB 4 2.0 support on Macs that get substantial processor updates in 2023, probably from the second half.