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

P

P

USB3 Vision

P

P

Data + Power

P

P

 

 

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