USB 3.2 will further aggravate the current USB brand


Cable and USB Type-C.
Enlarge / Cable and USB Type-C.

The USB 3.2, which doubles the maximum speed of a USB connection to 20 Gb / s, is expected to materialize in the systems later this year. In anticipation of this, the USB-IF – the industrial group that together develops various USB specifications – has announced the branding strategy and name that the new revision will use, and … it's awful .

USB 3.0 was quite simple. A USB 3.0 connection was running at 5 Gb / s and slower connections were USB 2 or even USB 1.1. The new data rate of 5 Gb / s bore the mark "SuperSpeed ​​USB", following the "high speed" at 480 MB / s of the USB 2 and the "full speed" of the device. USB 1.1 at 12Mb / s.

But USB 3.1 has arrived and has blurred the cards. Its great new functionality doubled the data rate to 10 Gb / s. The logical solution would have been to identify existing 5Gb / s devices like "USB 3.0" and newer 10Gb / s devices like "USB 3.1". But that's not what the USB-IF did. For reasons that remain difficult to understand, it was decided to retroactively rename USB 3.0 connections: 5Gb / s 3.0 connections became "USB 3.1 Gen 1", 10Gb / s connections being "USB 3.1 Gen 2. " The mainstream brand is "SuperSpeed ​​USB 10 Gbps".

What this meant was that many manufacturers say that a device supports "USB 3.1", even if it is only a "USB 3.1 Gen 1" device running at 5 Gb / s . Meanwhile, other manufacturers make the right choice: they use "USB 3.0" to designate devices 5Gb / s and reserve "USB 3.1" for parts to 10Gb / s.

The USB 3.2 doubles this confusion. 5Gb / s devices are now "USB 3.2 Gen 1." 10Gb / s devices become "USB 3.2 Gen 2." And the 20Gb / s devices will be … "USB 3.2 Gen 2 × 2." Because they work by running two 10 Gb / s connections on different pairs of wires simultaneously, it is simply obvious, according to the arithmetic, to number the "1, 2, 2 × generations. 2 ". Maybe they're named for powers of two, starting with zero? The mainstream brand is a more reasonable "SuperSpeed ​​USB 20Gbps".

The good part of all this is that USB 3.2 could mean 5, 10 or 20 Gbps. You can bet that some manufacturers will exploit this confusion everywhere and at any time.

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