New USB 4 logos: an end to our ever-present cable troubles?

New USB 4 logos: an end to our ever-present cable troubles?

Martin Jud
Zurich, on 04.10.2021
Translation: Patrik Stainbrook

Future USB 4 cables should become more customer-friendly. New logos will let you see how fast a certified cable can transmit data and power at a glance. However: the logo is only mandatory on packaging.

Soon, you won’t have to hope and pray that the USB-C cable you just reached for will offer enough speed or juice via USB Power Delivery to satisfy your needs. New USB 4 logos will in future directly indicate the speed and charging capability of the cable, at least on the packaging.

The days of less meaningful designations such as USB 3.1 Gen 2 or Gen 2×2 are numbered. As with a new standard protocol for USB-C, which the USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF) has published in version 2.1, the new logos seen above come with their respective speed information and the possible number of watts that can be charged. It’s up to the manufacturer whether they integrate the USB designation into their logo or not. Likewise, whether they’ll also include specs on the actual cable.

Instead of «USB 4 Gen 3 × 2», you’ll be seeing «40 Gbps». The 240-watt power specification in a logo corresponds to the new Power Delivery Standard 3.1. Until now, a maximum of 100 watts was possible via USB-C. This means that upcoming gaming notebooks with USB 4, for example, can get by without an additional power supply.

However, you can’t just label cables to avoid a tangled mess. Let’s hope that USB-IF, in some future version, will also require its licensees to label cables.

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