First, the good news: USB 3.2, the next specification announced by the USB Implementers Forum in 2017, will finally be released this year. The bad news is that the group also brought a list of new names, not only for the new standard, but also for older versions of USB 3.0.
Here's how everything breaks down:
- USB 3.2 Gen 1: Originally known as USB 3.0 and previously renamed to USB 3.1 Gen 1. This is the original USB 3.0 specification, which can transfer data up to 5 Gbps.
- USB 3.2 Gen 2: formerly USB 3.1, then USB 3.1 Gen 2. It offers speeds of up to 10 Gbps.
- USB 3.2 Gen 2×2: formerly known as USB 3.2, this is the latest and fastest specification, promising, offering speeds of up to 20 Gbps (using two 10 Gbps channels at a time) ).
There is a method to the madness of the USB-IF here. Each new specification absorbs the previous generations included in this specification, as a way to keep things relatively consistent. Thus, when exiting the USB 3.1, the old specification 3.0 became the USB 3.1 Gen 1 and the new specification faster 3.1 was the USB 3.1 Gen 2.
Similarly, now that we have USB 3.2, these numbers come back to the USB 3.2 Gen 1 and the USB 3.2 Gen 2. Regarding the new speed of 20 Gbps, this is not the USB 3.2 Gen 3 because it does not quite provide speeds of 20Gbps – These are two 10Gbps lanes working together, that's why we have the USB designation 3.2 Gen 2×2.
To simplify matters, the USB-IF also recommended companies to market these three specifications: SuperSpeed USB, SuperSpeed USB 10 Gbps and SuperSpeed USB 20 Gbps. The group also requests that other names, such as "SuperSpeed Plus, Enhanced SuperSpeed and SuperSpeed +", which were previously used in the 3.0 and 3.1 era standards, "are not intended to used in product names, messaging, packaging or any other type of consumer. -facing content. Although it is up to the companies to listen and follow these guidelines accordingly.
It is also important to note that these standards only govern the transfer speed, not the type of connector. This means that the USB Type-A, the microUSB and the USB-C can all receive the USB 3.2 mark – although technically, only USB-C cables probably support the fastest speeds in the world. 39, USB 3.2 Gen 2×2. This will probably add a little more confusion thanks to the renaming of the USB-IF here, since manufacturers can theoretically call a USB 3.2 port, even if they only offer the USB 3.0 era, a speed of 5 Gbps on a Type-A USB port.
USB-IF stresses the importance for manufacturers to honestly list their hardware capabilities in marketing, but it will likely be up to consumers to check if they are getting "real" USB 3.2 speeds or if they contain more specifications. old. Nevertheless, the fact that the name of the USB-IF has been finalized means that we are about to see this type of hardware delivered, and this can only be beneficial for those who want faster cables.