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

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.

Comments closed
    • ronch
    • 2 years ago

    I do believe USB is in some sort of cold war with the Firewire camp.

    • Bobs_Your_Uncle
    • 2 years ago

    The USB Implementers Forum has basically jumped the shark WRT to naming conventions. To simplify version naming & to make it somewhat understandable to Average Jane/Joe Consumer, they ought to follow the methodology used by producers of the TV series Friends: e.g.
    “[i<]The One With ...[/i<]". That would give us something along the lines of: [b<]USB Type-C gen 3.2 Mega-Hyper ThunderPlug: The Awakening V. VII: [i<]The One With UberFactor X[/i<] (featuring Identity Theft protection & [i<][u<]Now With Brite Smile Optimization[/u<][/i<])[/b<]

      • meerkt
      • 2 years ago

      Nah. I’d just go for USB 5Gb, USB 10Gb, etc.

        • willmore
        • 2 years ago

        Is that 10Gb one 10Gb channel or two 5Gb channel?

          • meerkt
          • 2 years ago

          One channel. It’s the transceiver hardware that counts, not the cable specifics.

    • JosiahBradley
    • 2 years ago

    How is this still [b<]U[/b<]niversal [b<]S[/b<]erial [b<]B[/b<]us if it has multiple channels running in [b<]P[/b<]arallel !!!

      • Wirko
      • 2 years ago

      Even the LPT port isn’t fully parallel. It can’t transfer all the bytes at the same time!

      • jts888
      • 2 years ago

      Because the channels are completely independent at a physical layer, and parallel buses generally have shared clock signals that drive block transceivers that attempt to send/receive all lanes together in chunks.

      For example, PCIe is considered serial regardless of the lane count. Every lane in both directions encodes its own clock (8 bits of data sent each 10 time slots ensures enough wiggling that a clock can be inferred, moving to 128/130 with newer versions), and bytes/words from each lane are reconstructed into message blocks at a higher level.

    • DPete27
    • 2 years ago

    Still confused why they decided to rename USB3.0 to USB3.1 Gen1.

      • Chrispy_
      • 2 years ago

      It’s still just “blue USB” instead of “black USB” which is good enough for most people.

      If both the host and device support the faster speeds, then that’s great, but very few people indeed are going to go and buy a different device just because it’s not running at it’s theoretical maximum speed.

      There’s also the problem that so many devices themselves are the limit and that even 3.1 Gen1 is fast enough that most people won’t notice. Where more bandwidth is required the most common interface is still Thunderbolt, and not necessarily over USB-C 🙁

        • Lord.Blue
        • 2 years ago

        What gets people even more confused is when they see the yellow or red USB ports

          • jihadjoe
          • 2 years ago

          The red ports got me for a while until I finally read the mobo manual.

          With the computer already off I was wondering why I’d hear external drives spin down after powering off the PSU.

      • jts888
      • 2 years ago

      What’s to be confused by?

      Mobo makers (who also happened to be USB consortium members) already shipped a ton of inventory with 5 Gbps (3.0/whatever) port, which looked not-so-great next to this new 10 Gbps (3.1 etc.) standard.

      Similar to the earlier High Speed/Super Speed confusion, the USB group chooses marketing hype over customer clarity every single time.

      • derFunkenstein
      • 2 years ago

      well get ready for:

      USB 3.2 Gen1 – 5Gbps
      USB 3.2 Gen2 – 10Gbps
      USB 3.2 Gen3 – 20Gbps

      got the wrong prefix – Giga instead of Mega. Thanks, wIllmore.

        • willmore
        • 2 years ago

        You forgot USB3.2 Gen3 – 10Gbps

        Which is dual 5Gbps on older, longer cables.

        Oh, and you said mbps instead of Gbps.

          • derFunkenstein
          • 2 years ago

          D’oh, you’re right on both counts. Fixed the Gbps problem, but I’ll leave this extra classification all for you. 😀

        • Chebby
        • 2 years ago

        There is no “Gen 3” defined in the USB 3.2 spec. ‘Gen’ refers to signaling rate 5 or 10. 20Gbps mode is Gen 2×2. Just like PCIe convention.

          • derFunkenstein
          • 2 years ago

          Just you wait for the marketing terms.

          • curtisb
          • 2 years ago

          Give Apple time…

    • just brew it!
    • 2 years ago

    [quote<]with third-party controller chips available first and integration into Intel and AMD chipsets trailing a year [b<]or more[/b<] later[/quote<] Emphasis on "or more" for AMD, if history is any guide...

      • smilingcrow
      • 2 years ago

      Ryzen has Gen 2 doesn’t it so ahead of Intel this time.
      Not sure about Threadripper!

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