USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF), is a non-profit corporation founded by the group of companies that developed the Universal Serial Bus specification. We're learning now that the new USB 3.2 standard will reportedly debut on new hardware beginning this fall in time for Christmas if all goes well. While it could take on the look of USB-C, it will offer higher transfer rates – if the OEM chooses to deliver the new USB 3.2 Gen 2x2 standard. That's the tricky part, USB 3.2 will come in three variants – so buyer beware.
USB-IF says that as technology innovation marches forward, new kinds of devices, media formats, and large inexpensive storage are converging. They require significantly more bandwidth to maintain the interactive experience users have come to expect. In addition, user applications demand a higher performance connection between the PC and these increasingly sophisticated peripherals. SuperSpeed USB addresses this need by adding an even higher transfer rates to match these new usages and devices.
The USB 3.2 specification defines multi-lane operation for new USB 3.2 hosts and devices, allowing for up to two lanes of 10Gbps operation to realize a 20Gbps data transfer rate.
While USB hosts and devices were originally designed as single-lane solutions, USB TypeC™ cables were designed from the outset to support multi-lane operation to ensure a path for scalable performance.
USB-IF notes in their literature that its' "important that vendors clearly communicate the performance signaling that a product delivers in the product’s packaging, advertising content, and any other marketing materials."
Consumers should be careful to note the three different versions of USB 3.2 that will be coming to market this fall so that they know what they're getting in a next-gen computer.
USB 3.2 Gen 1:
Product capability: product signals at 5Gbps.
Marketing name: SuperSpeed USB
USB 3.2 Gen 2:
Product capability: product signals at 10Gbps
Marketing name: SuperSpeed USB 10Gbps
USB 3.2 Gen 2x2
Product capability: product signals at 20Gbps
Marketing name: SuperSpeed USB 20Gbps
USB-IF is also quick to point out that that USB 3.2 only defines the transfer rate of a product.
USB 3.2 is not USB Type-C, USB Standard-A, Micro-USB or any other USB cable or connector. Meaning that a laptop maker may offer a USB-C styled connector cable but could deliver any one of three USB 3.2 variants. It's up to the consumer to look out for which transfer rate the new USB connectors will deliver.
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