All About USB 3.2

January 10, 2019 at 8:00 AM

 

We’ve discussed the difference between USB 3.1 Gen 1 vs. Gen 2, but now comes the next level for Universal Serial Bus - USB 3.2. What makes this newest USB standard stand out? First and foremost are increased bandwidth and USB Type-C connector and cable support. Here, we’ll take a look at all the specs, so you’ll know all about USB 3.2.

 

While USB 3.1 Gen 1 brought 5 Gbps and Gen 2 doubled that to 10 Gbps speeds, USB 3.2 then doubles down again to offer 20 Gbps speeds – the most notable feature of the new standard. The way it provides those speeds is a little different though. USB 3.2 utilizes what is being called multi-lane operation, where devices use two lanes of 5 Gbps or 10 Gbps running together to transfer data at the same time over extra wires inside the USB cables. This allows for a cumulative data transfer rate of 10 Gbps to 20 Gbps.

 

What does this new standard mean for older USB cables? Fortunately, the new standard will be backward compatible with older standards. Even more fortunately, if the host and recipient devices are USB 3.2 compatible, older USB cables will also see a boost in speeds as great as 2 Gbps. USB 3.2 will also support USB-C connectors and their features such as power delivery, alternate modes, and digital audio, video and data on the same cable.

 

Overall, the new USB 3.2 standard is a big upgrade in terms of speed, but otherwise, it’s not a huge shift – which might be good news for those not ready to replace all of their older USB equipment. Though faster speeds are always good news, so this update is sure to be a welcomed change.

 

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