26 February 2019
Apart from the interesting 5G and foldable phones, MWC event in Barcelona also witnessed the introduction of the new USB standard which is the USB 3.2. The USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF) has announced this new standard which will offer double the current maximum USB data transfer speeds to deliver up to 20GB per second. Well, while the technicality or functionality are the two important aspects here, it’s the naming convention that can’t be neglected, at least, for now.
The technical name of the new standard is USB 3.2 Gen 2x2 and it makes use of two high-speed 10Gbps channels to offer 20Gbps speed. It succeeds USB 3.1 Gen 2, which will now be called USB 3.2 Gen 2, while the previous USB 3.1 Gen 1 will be renamed USB 3.2 Gen 1. So, here’s a bit of confusion but again, for now, it’s not a big deal (the standard may take some time to be just called by one numeral like the Wi-Fi 6).
USB-IF suggested a separate marketing nomenclature for each standard so to avoid any confusion with technicalities.
- SuperSpeed USB 20Gbps (USB 3.2 Gen 2×2)
- SuperSpeed USB 10Gbps (USB 3.1 Gen 2)
- SuperSpeed USB (USB 3.1 Gen 1, which tops out at 5Gbps)
Moving on, the USB 3.2 Gen 2x2 is only possible over the USB Type-C connection because it supports the multi-lane operations for scalable performance.
There’s no tentative date or time for when USB 3.2 devices will arrive. Speculations say it may come out later this year. Note that the hottest Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 supports only 10Gbps transfer speeds. Android users in the need for faster transfer seem low, and the new standard looks more apt for a laptop or desktop.