USB4 and Thunderbolt 4 are two high-speed connectivity standards that offer fast data transfer and multiple functionalities. While they share some similarities, there are a few key differences between them. Here’s an overview:
- Data Transfer Speed: USB4 and Thunderbolt 4 both provide high data transfer rates. USB4 supports a maximum speed of 40 Gbps, which is twice the speed of its predecessor, USB 3.2. On the other hand, Thunderbolt 4 also offers a maximum speed of 40 Gbps, matching USB4 in terms of data transfer capabilities.
- Compatibility: USB4 is designed to be backward compatible with previous USB standards, including USB 3.2 and USB 2.0. This means that USB4 devices can connect to and communicate with older USB devices. Thunderbolt 4, on the other hand, is compatible with USB4 and USB-C connectors, allowing for a wider range of device compatibility.
- Functionality: Thunderbolt 4 offers additional functionalities compared to USB4. Thunderbolt 4 ports can support up to two 4K displays or one 8K display, whereas USB4 can support a single 4K display. Thunderbolt 4 also provides support for PCIe (Peripheral Component Interconnect Express) connections, allowing for the connection of external GPUs, storage devices, and other PCIe peripherals.
Power Delivery: Both USB4 and Thunderbolt 4 support power delivery over the same USB-C connector. However, Thunderbolt 4 requires systems to provide a minimum power delivery of 15 watts for bus-powered devices, whereas USB4 does not have a specific power delivery requirement.
Certification: Thunderbolt 4 has a certification program that ensures devices meet specific requirements, including data transfer speed, power delivery, and display support. USB4 does not have a mandatory certification program, but devices claiming USB4 compatibility should adhere to the USB4 specification.
In summary, USB4 and Thunderbolt 4 share the same maximum data transfer speed but differ in terms of compatibility, functionalities, power delivery requirements, and certification programs. Thunderbolt 4 offers additional features like multiple display support and PCIe connectivity, making it suitable for more demanding applications. USB4, with its backward compatibility and wide industry support, provides a versatile and efficient standard for high-speed data transfer.