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USB 4.0 vs. USB C: What’s the Difference Between Them?

You would think that all USB cables are identical. Not quite.

Since its 1996 release, the USB has been a great tool for convenience. Things have changed since those early days. Multiple USB connectivity standards are available, which can cause confusion. This confusion could be reduced by the introduction of USB 4.0, a new version of USB.

USB stands for Universal Serial Bus. It is a plug-and-play interface which allows a computer and peripherals to communicate. It’s quick and easy.

What is USB 4.0 and how does it differ from USB Type C?

What is USB-C?

USB-C is one of three standard USB types: Type A, Type B and Type C. For many reasons, USB-C connectors differ from other USB connectors. USB-C connectors are able to be inserted in any orientation while still functioning, unlike traditional USB Type A ports.

Because USB-C uses more connections, it can also provide higher power than older connectors (up to 3A per ports).

How does USB-C connect to USB 4.0?

What is USB 4.0?

USB 4.0 is the next generation of USB. It was announced in 2019 and promises significantly faster transfer speeds, improved port usage, tunneling of display ports, and PCIe connectivity to external devices.

USB 4.0 uses a single connector (USB C) to bring multiple connectivity standards together. USB 4.0 is also compatible with most of the older standard inputs (USB 3.0 and USB 2.0).

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In 2020, the first computers equipped with USB 4.0 connectivity were released. It is anticipated that there will be more computers and desktops with USB 4.0 connectivity in 2021.

Once you have a better understanding of the technical background for USB 4.0/USB-C, the last question is: What is the difference between USB 4.0/USB-C?

What is the difference between USB 4.0 and USB -C?

The most striking difference between USB 4.0 & USB-C lies in the fact that USB-C is a type USB cable .

This refers to how the connectors and ports are designed, while USB 4.0 is concerned with the speed and functionality of the USB cable. Simply put, USB 4.0 refers to the most recent version of USB and is housed in a USB-C Cable.


The physical USB-C connector is not compatible with older USB devices, but the underlying USB standard. It is impossible to plug in older USB devices into the tiny, modern USB-C ports.

A USB-C connector cannot be connected to a larger, older USB port. USB 4.0 has fewer restrictions and supports backward compatibility with older versions.

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USB 4.0 allows data transfer speeds up to 20 Gbps or 40 Gbps. This is much faster than what most devices can do with USB-C. Dual-line USB 4.0 cables have a greater bandwidth than the previous versions. This allows more data to travel between two devices and improves data transfer speed.

What is USB PD?

USB PD (USB Power Delivery), is a specification that allows for higher power and faster charging of a variety of devices via a USB connection.

Unlike USB-C which does not always conform to USB PD specifications every USB 4.0 connection will be compliant with USB PD. This ensures USB 4.0 can keep different devices powered up as long as the host devices have sufficient power.

USB 4.0 is the Future of USB Connections

The future looks bright for USB devices, thanks to the universality of the USB-C cable combined with the efficiency of USB4.0. The future of USB devices is likely to be USB 4.0.

The introduction of USB 4.0-capable laptops has already started. There will be a gradual decline in older versions and USB types. USB 4.0/C will take the lead.




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