The USB Developer Forum (USB-IF) officially introduced USB 3.2 at MWC 2019 (via Tom's Hardware). The new format, which will offer double the current maximum USB data transfer speed to deliver up to 20GB per second, has brought a new brand image to USB 3.1 products.
USB 3.2 will be known as USB 3.2 Gen 2 × 2 because it uses two 10 Gbps high-speed channels. It succeeds USB 3.1 Gen 2, which will now be called USB 3.2 Gen 2, while the old USB 3.1 Gen 1 will be renamed USB 3.2 Gen 1.
This is a confusing name change, especially because the USB 3.1 Gen 1 was also called USB 3.0. However, USB-IF has suggested marketing conditions that would facilitate understanding of the products, if the manufacturers adopt them. These are:
- SuperSpeed USB 20Gbps (USB 3.2 Gen 2 × 2)
- SuperSpeed USB 10 Gbps (USB 3.1 Gen 2)
- SuperSpeed USB (USB 3.1 Gen 1, which exceeds 5 Gbps)
How will USB 3.1 Gen 2 × 2 affect smartphone users?
USB 3.1 Gen 2 × 2 only works with USB-C, as will most new Android smartphones, but we will have to wait for next-generation chipsets to benefit. The Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, which will power many flagship phones 2019, supports only 10 Gbps transfer speeds via the new name USB 3.1 Gen 2.
However, even once the support technology is there, it's probably not something that smartphone owners need to worry too much about. Few Android users will be able to transfer large enough files to really take advantage of the 20 Gbps connection. It is rather something that experienced users using a laptop or desktop computer would use.
Read more: Understanding different types of USB cables