USB 3.2 spec allows for 20 Gbps over existing Type-C cables


— 12:15 PM on September 29, 2017

Despite the fact that USB 3.1 Gen2 is still not ubiquitous in the field and in brand-new products, the USB Implementers Forum is marching forward with the next version of the USB specification. USB 3.2 will double the maximum transfer rates of USB 3.1 Gen 2 by using a two-lane approach with existing USB Type-C cables. The specification was first announced back in July, and now the complete 103 MB file with the official specification has been published and is available for download for those with very long attention spans.

Cables compatible with the 10 Gbps SuperSpeed+ spec should deliver 20 Gbps with USB 3.2 hosts and devices

Doubling the USB 3.1 Gen2 transfer rate gives USB 3.2 a maximum transfer rate of 20 Gbps, or 2.5 GB/s of raw bandwidth. Little has changed since the spec was first announced a few months ago. Achieving the highest transfer rates will require new USB controllers, but existing USB Type-C SuperSpeed+ cables that fully meet all existing specifications should be able to deliver the full bandwidth.

We expect USB 3.2 host chips to arrive sometime next year. The rollout will likely follow the same pattern as USB 3.1 Gen2, with third-party controller chips available first and integration into Intel and AMD chipsets trailing a year or more later.

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