One of the advantages of having a PC tower is its expandability, since we can install and uninstall new components inside it. Not only expansion cards of all kinds, but also the addition of 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. So let’s see what it brings us and what its technical characteristics are. Do you need a state-of-the-art USB port?
Despite fourth-generation USB being a standard for the future, we still find that very few towers include it as standard and its presence on motherboards is rare to say the least. This necessitates what we call a peripheral interface. That is to say 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 USB4 drivers and hubs that would allow us to connect devices that support the new standard. Well, the folks at ASMedia will release an expansion card for this purpose along with a new controller. Which we may see in the hub of more PC towers in the future.
Meet 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 has released USB4 controller chip in the market. The first to do so was the ASMedia brand, owned by Chinese electronics conglomerate Xiangshuo. The controller chip has been named ASM4242
To begin with, the card that integrates the first USB4 controller connects to a PCI Express x4 Gen 4 port. what gives 8 GB/s bandwidtha, which is converted to Gigabits 64 Gbps total. If we take this into account USB4 interfaces are 40Gbps per port, so it would be for a single port. What did the people from ASMedia do? Then reduce bandwidth to 32 Gbps To agree 2 additional USB ports. It therefore does not reach 100% of the speed of the standard. Instead, it’s 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 many laptops and motherboards may send a video signal through this type of high-resolution port. Everything therefore indicates that we will not only see it as a card, but also as a USB controller in many devices. Especially since the USB 2.0 ports can be bypassed.
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