Computer

The first controller chip for hubs with USB4 ports finally appears

One of the advantages of having a PC tower is its expansion capacity, since we can install and uninstall new components inside it. Not only expansion cards of all kinds, but also adding additional ports and new I/O interfaces. Of course, these need specialized controllers. Well, the first card with controller and USB4 Hub has already been announced. We are talking about ASMedia ASM4242. Let’s see, therefore, what it brings us and what its technical characteristics are. Do you need a state-of-the-art USB port?

Despite the fact that the fourth generation USB is a standard for the future, we still find that very few towers include it as standard and its presence on motherboards is at least scarce. This makes what we call a peripheral interface necessary. That is, an expansion card that uses a free PCI Express port to be able to add inputs and outputs not available on the PC. Unfortunately, we have yet to see any USB4 drivers and hubs that will allow us to connect devices that support the new standard. Well, ASMedia people will release an expansion card for this purpose with a new driver. Which we may see in the hub of several PC towers in the future.

This is the ASM4242, the first USB4 controller and hub

Two years have passed since USB4 was approved in full specification by the USB International Forum. The paradox? Until now, no one had released a USB4 controller chip on the market. The first to do so was the ASMedia brand, owned by the Chinese electronic conglomerate Xiangshuo. The controller chip has been baptized as ASM4242 and it will serve for the number of computers with several of these ports to increase.

To begin with, the card that integrates the first USB4 controller connects to a PCI Express x4 Gen 4 port. what it gives 8GB/s bandwidtha, what converted to Gigabits are 64Gbps total. If we take into account that USB4 interfaces are 40Gbps per port, so this would be for a single port. What have the people of ASMedia done? Then cut bandwidth to 32 Gbps To grant 2 additional USB ports. So it does not reach 100% of the speed of the standard. Instead, it is faster than any of the third generation USBs. In addition to being fully compatible with Thunderbolt 3. After all, the new standard is an improved version of the latter.

As a final point, the driver also supports Alt DP mode for the video transfer, so it may be a way that many laptops and motherboards send a video signal through this type of port at high resolution. So everything indicates that we will not only see it as a card, but also as a USB controller in many devices. Especially since USB 2.0 ports can be bypassed.

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