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The USB powers that be will clear up the confusing mishmash of logos.

Why USB4 logos will actually make sense


Executive Editor,

PCWorld |

Hell must have frozen over because for the first time in forever, new USB logos introduced with USB4 hardware will actually make sense.

Rather than confusing consumers with meaningless monikers like USB 2.0 or SuperSpeed USB 3.1, the new USB4 spec will use “USB 40Gbps” to refer to hardware that is—wait for it—capable of up to 40Gbps of aggregate speeds. USB 20Gbps USB4 ports will—duh—be called USB4 20Gbps.

The USB Implementers Forum, the group charged with herding vendors, said new port and cable logos will also simply feature the maximum aggregate speed.

The new USB4 only applies to the reversible Type C cables and ports. Although USB4 40Gpbs is also optionally compatible with Intel’s Thunderbolt 3, logos for Thunderbolt 3 compatibility will be left to Intel and Thunderbolt. Today, that’s typically denoted by a lightning bolt.

Why the hell didn’t someone think of this before?

Older USB standards will also get a slightly updated logos to help clarify their support. The USB IF said a SuperSpeed USB 5Gbps device or port will now say 5Gbps or 5 to denote its speed.

Older logos will also get new, clarifying nomenclature.

This story, “Why USB4 logos will actually make sense” was originally published by


One of founding fathers of hardcore tech reporting, Gordon has been covering PCs and components since 1998.

Copyright © 2020 IDG Communications, Inc.

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