USB 3.2 spec pushes bandwidth up to 20 Gbps

The Universal Serial Bus is about to become a little bit less "serial." The USB 3.0 Promoter Group just announced the USB 3.2 specification—a new standard that's pretty similar to USB 3.1, except that it defines multi-lane operation modes. That means USB 3.2 devices can have two lanes operating on the same cable, each running at 5 Gbps or 10 Gbps, for a total throughput of 10 Gbps or 20 Gbps.

The best part about this news is that while USB 3.2 support will only appear on new devices (as usual), it doesn't actually require new cables. Your existing USB Type-C cables will (probably) work with USB 3.2 devices in full 20 Gbps mode, since they were designed from the beginning to support multi-lane operation. Just make sure your cables are up to spec.

The final throughput of USB 3.2 comes out to over 2 GB/sec. That amount of bandwidth is half that of Thunderbolt 3, a figure that's likely related to the fact that both specs use the same cabling. The USB 3.2 specification isn't finalised yet, so this is pretty much all the information we have. Full details of the specification should be released at the USB Developer Days event in September.

Comments closed
    • AMDisDEC
    • 2 years ago

    LOL. Dug thru a pile of spam to read one useful comment.

    • ronch
    • 2 years ago

    Time for the PSB 1.0 spec.

    • NoOne ButMe
    • 2 years ago

    Thunderbolt, die die die!
    (This is very good for making the above happen)

    • chuckula
    • 2 years ago

    Incidentally the [i<]how[/i<] of USB 3.2 is quite simple: USB 3.1 @ 10 Gbits uses two pairs of wires. USB-C cables -- if they are fully specced properly and that's what a bunch of the comments are about -- include four pairs of wires. So USB 3.2 does the same signalling as USB 3.1 over four pairs of wires instead of two pairs of wires and shazaam, 20Gbits. Of course, in addition to the proper cabling you also need transceivers at both ends that are setup to perform the signalling over all four pairs of wire.

    • CuttinHobo
    • 2 years ago

    So 3.1 doubled the transfer rate over 3.0, and 3.2 doubles it again. Yet it still isn’t USB 4? Are they just trying to rub their “3” in Valve’s face? Is it going to be like mac OSX where its major-revision number remains the same for 15+ years?

      • albundy
      • 2 years ago

      nope. they will twist it around and confuse everyone again like they did for the 3.1gen 1/usb 3.0 vs 3.1 gen 2 fiasco. probably even more so. because. they can easily run out of numbers after 4.

      • meerkt
      • 2 years ago

      But it’s probably better than Chrome-versions, where every small feature is a major version increment.

      • NoOne ButMe
      • 2 years ago

      when the cable changes?

        • CuttinHobo
        • 2 years ago

        As in, Type-C?

    • davidbowser
    • 2 years ago

    If you are going for cheap USB cables, I recommend at least buying them from a reseller with a decent return policy. On Amazon, most state right in the descriptions which USB standard they are tested against for both power and data. So obviously, [b<]READ THE DESCRIPTION[/b<]. There are AmazonBasics USB-C to USB-C cables that are rated for 5V and 3A (15W) power, but only rated for 2.0 transfer speeds, but others of the same brand that are rated for 3.1 speeds.

    • Blytz
    • 2 years ago

    I want to know more about when our current gen 3.whateveryoufeellikeitshouldbe is going to start making use of the power delivery we were promised. 100w on a single cable to power monitors etc.

    Best I’ve seen so far is my current cable for my nexus 5x phone which is abut 1/4 of that

      • Bauxite
      • 2 years ago

      There are some thunderbolt GPU docks with useful PD, it makes a lot of sense with them as their only sensible use case is docking with a laptop. These are also the only thunderbolt devices I’ve seen since it was introduced that are actually interesting: [url<]https://egpu.io/external-gpu-buyers-guide-2017/[/url<] I'm holding out for the sonnet one that delivers 87W of power along with dual 8-pin for the gpu. The apple dev kit version of this supplies 60W PD and comes with a RX580 (one 8-pin): [url<]https://developer.apple.com/development-kit/external-graphics/[/url<]

    • Chrispy_
    • 2 years ago

    Cool.

    Still waiting for wider adoption of USB-C though. I have adapters, and A-to-C cables, but man, I wish more motherboards had more USB-C by default, and I wish A-to-C cables were in the same price league as A-to-MicroA.

    Still, it could be worse. At least the adapters are only like $0.99 and the size of a microSD card.

    • Bobs_Your_Uncle
    • 2 years ago

    Given all of the confusion surrounding various USB specs, I’d like to propose yet another specification that would serve to unify all previously existing standards.

    For the sake of clarity it should be identified as [b<][u<]USB Type-C v3.2-4 Gen:WTF[/u<][/b<] (WTF = "What's This For" lest there be any confusion on acronyms)

    • cygnus1
    • 2 years ago

    USB C cables are a serious crapshoot. You gotta dig for details on a cable to even hope to have a chance it’s what you think it is. Even for USB C to USB C. Most are sold as charging cables and only support USB 2.0 data speeds at best, kind of hard to find a real USB C 3.1 cable.

    • meerkt
    • 2 years ago

    Disappointing. I was waiting for USB 3.1 Gen 3.
    (Sorry, I had to.)

    BTW: Anything uses USB3’s full duplex? Uses, as in, saturates it both ways at the same time.

      • freebird
      • 2 years ago

      How about USB 3.1 Gen X & Gen Y? Although, released today it would have to be USB 3.1 Gen M (Millennials) which somehow also includes a subset of Gen Y? Who makes this Sh!t up???

        • chuckula
        • 2 years ago

        USB 3.1: FREAKIN’ MILLENIALS RUINED IT EDITION!!!

          • freebird
          • 2 years ago

          Couldn’t be worse than Windows ME could it??? 🙂 possibly? lol

          .. actually there wasn’t ANYTHING funny about Windows ME to be completely honest…

            • jihadjoe
            • 2 years ago

            Windows Millenial Edition was obviously built to celebrate the birth of millenials.

      • jihadjoe
      • 2 years ago

      How’s about a [url=http://www.tomshardware.com/news/Super-Talent-Ram-Disk-RamDisk,23173.html<]USB RAMdrive[/url<]? [quote<]Super Talent has released a new, rather interesting device. The device is called the Ram Disk USB. It is a USB 3.0 drive that is said to feature read speeds of up to 4041 MB/s and write speeds of up to 5388 MB/s. [/quote<]

        • Waco
        • 2 years ago

        Wow. They’re selling something that’s literally baked into every modern filesystem (NTFS included) and just running it in an incredibly unsafe (for your data) mode.

    • thudo
    • 2 years ago

    More supported protocols + 2x speed + using same 3.1 connection (although must be certified/up-to-spec) = \o/ I do wish existing 3.1 adapters would get a firmware upgrade to support it though. /o\ 3.1 is fairly new-ish so in 2-3 years we’ll get 3.3 and again need all new h/w? Gah!

      • freebird
      • 2 years ago

      with RGB LED lighting all the rage, you Thunk someone would build an USB 3.1 Gen 1/2 or 3.2 cable that signaled what speed it is running at when connected between devices R(otten) = Gen 1, G(ood Enuf) = Gen 2 and B(eavis & Butt-head Speed) = 3.2

      Simple.

      or pick your favorite B word here:
      [url<]http://phrontistery.info/b.html[/url<] Blague perhaps?

        • JustAnEngineer
        • 2 years ago

        “BitchinFast”

          • freebird
          • 2 years ago

          ME like.
          or as Beavis would say “BOING!”

            • Redocbew
            • 2 years ago

            Are you threatening me?

        • trackerben
        • 2 years ago

        Prepotherous speed!

    • DPete27
    • 2 years ago

    USB3.0 was ratified 4 years ago clearly focusing on storage needs. What’s their motivation now? Daisy-chaining?

      • freebird
      • 2 years ago

      Hopefully, RGB powered lights…that blink too would be nice.

      because everyone knows anything that blinks or flashes, sells better…

      • cygnus1
      • 2 years ago

      You sure you don’t mean 3.1? Pretty sure 3.0 was done about a decade ago….

        • DPete27
        • 2 years ago

        Oops.

    • Yan
    • 2 years ago

    “Your existing USB Type-C cables will (probably) work”, you write. “Just make sure your cables are up to spec.”

    And the link says this: “One would think that a Type-C cable is a simple, known quantity. One would be dead wrong.”

    That’s not very reassuring.

      • nanoflower
      • 2 years ago

      Wasn’t it on Amazon where some large % of the USB cables tested failed the test? Here’s one of the articles on the problem.

      [url<]https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2015/11/google-engineer-leaves-scathing-reviews-of-dodgy-usb-type-c-cables-on-amazon/[/url<]

        • meerkt
        • 2 years ago

        That’s about USB-C to legacy A in regards to power delivery.

        • freebird
        • 2 years ago

        Yep, a said fact of life, where is a good Class action Lawyer? Amazon is condemning the populace to USB Gen 1 speeds!!!!

      • meerkt
      • 2 years ago

      The last USB C-A cable I got on eBay, advertised as USB 3 SuperSpeed 5Gbps, didn’t have any data wires connected, not USB 3 nor 2. Only the power wires were there.

    • derFunkenstein
    • 2 years ago

    edit: i’m not funny

      • meerkt
      • 2 years ago

      If the +3 is any indication, apparently you are.
      (Or perhaps it was someone agreeing to your current assertion?)

        • derFunkenstein
        • 2 years ago

        I would hazard to guess the latter.

          • freebird
          • 2 years ago

          Good thing you didn’t ASSUME the latter… because you know what THAT get us you…

            • Shobai
            • 2 years ago

            Did you just assume he knows what that gets him…?

      • drfish
      • 2 years ago

      bump

        • derFunkenstein
        • 2 years ago

        Hey, now! :p

          • drfish
          • 2 years ago

          Sorry, I couldn’t resist. 😉

            • derFunkenstein
            • 2 years ago

            Oh, I had it coming. LOL

      • CuttinHobo
      • 2 years ago

      Hitting the Top Comments list in 3… 2… 1…

        • derFunkenstein
        • 2 years ago

        what in the actual heck

          • CuttinHobo
          • 2 years ago

          Haha! I think your current ranking on the top comment chart means you have won at the interwebs today, good sir. 😀

      • Mr Bill
      • 2 years ago

      could I get a link to the funny thread?

        • derFunkenstein
        • 2 years ago

        I can’t, because I’m not funny. I made a really obvious joke in this original post, and then thought better of it.

          • Mr Bill
          • 2 years ago

          127.0.0.0

      • Redocbew
      • 2 years ago

      You mean like this?

      [url<]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8-uPNDLK4gs#t=03m27s[/url<]

      • UberGerbil
      • 2 years ago

      [url<]http://s2.quickmeme.com/img/21/21eb034c54e3032736e86f76d2c9d1517b3245ee03769a9dcc43051fa18cee58.jpg[/url<]

      • Grigory
      • 2 years ago

      What did he post? That the new spec is a serial killer?

        • derFunkenstein
        • 2 years ago

        Something along those lines, yes.

      • K-L-Waster
      • 2 years ago

      I want to see this post on Top Comments with 3 digits of + rating.

      • the
      • 2 years ago

      Casually late to the party, what did I miss?

        • derFunkenstein
        • 2 years ago

        Nothing of value. The entirety of the updoots came after I removed the unfunny joke.

        • CuttinHobo
        • 2 years ago

        I bet it was a “first!!!1!1!” post, but he edited it after the swell of nerdrage caused a disturbance in the force… 🙂

          • derFunkenstein
          • 2 years ago

          no, it was something like “parallel killed the serial bus” sung to the tune of a song from the 80s. I felt bad about how lazy and unfunny it was and axed it.

            • CuttinHobo
            • 2 years ago

            That’s not bad. Add a couple music notes to make it less lazy and you’d be golden! Though you wouldn’t have gotten nearly as many upvotes! 🙂

            • derFunkenstein
            • 2 years ago

            I didn’t expect any updoots. I had expected the opposite.

            • CuttinHobo
            • 2 years ago

            Fame is a fickle mistress.

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