USB 3.1 Gen 1 vs. Gen 2

August 9, 2018 at 8:00 AM


Not sure of the difference between USB 3.1 Gen 1 (aka SuperSpeed USB) and USB 3.1. Gen 2 (aka SuperSpeed USB 10 Gbps or SuperSpeed+)? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. USB has rebranded and restructured how it differentiates between the two, leaving many scratching their heads as to which is which. Have no fear though, we’ve got it all figured out and are here to clear it up for you.


If you were impressed by the super speeds brought to you courtesy of USB 3.1, then you’re going to be over the moon for USB 3.1 Gen 2. This iteration of USB technology bolsters speeds and delivers additional benefits sure to please all users. As its name suggests, SuperSpeed+ USB increases the data transfer rate from 5 Gbps to 10 Gbps, making it twice as fast as USB 3.1 Gen 1 and on par with first generation Thunderbolt technology. USB 3.1 Gen 2 also uses more efficient data encoding, which not only increases throughput, but also improves I/O power efficiency.


Though the maximum cable length is shortened from 5 meters to 1 meter, USB 3.1 Gen 2 maintains the capability of data plus power over one cable and it can support multiple cameras and the USB3 Vision standard. Plus, USB 3.1 Gen 2 increases the power delivery level from 4.5 Watts to an astounding 100 Watts. This standard will also support USB Type-C, USB DisplayPort over Type-C and USB Power Delivery.


USB 3.1 Gen 2 is fully backward compatible with existing USB 3.0 software and devices, 5 Gbps hubs and devices as well as USB 2.0 products. In case there’s still some lingering confusion, here’s a handy chart to help compare these two side-by-side.



USB 3.1 Gen 1

USB 3.1 Gen 2

Data Rate

5 Gbps

10 Gbps

Power Delivery

4.5 W

100 W

Max Cable Length

5 m

1 m

Multiple Cameras



USB3 Vision



Data + Power





USB 3.1 Gen 1 - Fasten your Seat Belts!

July 16, 2015 at 10:00 AM


It's a bird! It's a plane! No, it's SuperSpeed USB!


Your data transfer rates will soar to heroic speeds with the launch of USB 3.1 Gen 1, also known as SuperSpeed USB, which boasts three main advantages: speed, power delivery and the new Type-C connector.


As its name suggests, SuperSpeed USB delivers data transfer rate up to 5 Gbps, That makes it 10x faster than Hi-Speed USB and it provides power of up to 45 Watts. Plus, it minimizes user wait time because it is a Sync-N-Go technology.


SuperSpeed USB delivers optimized power efficiency with no device polling and lower active and idle power requirements. It is able to negotiate power, which allows two devices to decipher which one powers the other and the power direction can be changed without switching the physical cable direction. USB 3.1 Gen 1 is also backward compatible with previous versions of USB as far back as USB 2.0.


With USB 3.1 Gen 1 supporting USB Type-C, charging becomes easier than ever with the Type-C connector and its simple, reversible design that takes the guess work and frustration out of plugging in your USB devices. The smaller and slimmer Type-C connector will replace both full-sized USB connectors as well as micro-USB connectors, though there will be USB 3.1 Gen 1 cables that are backward compatible with existing USB 3.0 ports.


Set to launch in late 2015 or early 2016, USB 3.1 Gen 1 is coming to market as a single-cable solution supporting video, audio, data and power.  With this super-charged USB delivering more speed, more power and a sleeker, fool-proof design, USB is likely to remain the de-facto interface connecting your devices.


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