Published: Thu, July 27, 2017
Science | By Boyd Webster

USB 3.2 specification doubles USB Type-C bandwidth

USB 3.2 specification doubles USB Type-C bandwidth

Some USB-connected SSD drives can saturate a USB 3.1 cable, so there may be some benefit for USB 3.2 there.

The USB 3.0 Promoter Group has announced that the USB 3.2 specification will be released shortly.

It comes as no surprise that USB 3.2 is adding multi-lane operation, as USB Type-C already added the ability to pair the SuperSpeed USB lanes together in order to send other data protocols over the USB Type-C interface with USB Alternate Mode. However, what you won't require is a new cable.

The USB Type-C cables were created to support multi-lane operation but older standards couldn't take full advantage of it. USB 3.2 is designed as multi-lane solutions to offer two different approaches: either two lanes of 5 Gbps or two lanes of 10 Gbps. That is, your existing cables should be able to move forward to new PCs and other devices and deliver the double the performance.

Even with a proper USB 3.2 host, you might not see blazing fast 20Gbps transfers.

You can find out everything you need to know about USB-C here, but essentially, rather than a data transfer standard, it's the latest form of physical connection for USB, like with microUSB and miniUSB.

USB-C can carry data across numerous connections such as Apple's Thunderbolt, Displayport, HDMI, and, of course, USB 3.1 - which is now the official data transfer standard for USB-C.

Brad Saunders, USB 3.0 Promoter Group chairman, explained further: "When we introduced USB Type-C to the market, we meant to assure that USB Type-C cables and connectors certified for SuperSpeed USB or SuperSpeed USB 10Gbps would, as produced, support higher performance USB as newer generations of USB 3.0 were developed". But now, using the wrong hardware can prevent a cable from reaching the specified data rates, or transferring the correct amount of power.

Minor update to hub specification to address increased performance and assure seamless transitions between single and two-lane operation.

The USB 3.0 Promoter Group today detailed in a press release that USB 3.2 will be able to double the performance by taking advantage of multi-lane operations.

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