Just in case you didn’t find the dystopian USB-C future we live in not complicated enough, the USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF) has revealed yet another new port format at Mobile World Congress (MWC) — USB 3.2
USB 3.2 offers double the data transfer speed over USB 3.1, coming to a total of 20Gbps. According to USB-IF, USB 3.2 is set to be called USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 and is the successor USB 3.1 Gen 2, which is now called USB 3.2 Gen 2.
At one point, the USB-IF also made the decision to rebrand USB 3.0 to USB 3.1 Gen 1, in what seemed like its initial effort to befuddle the average consumer.
Are you confused yet? I certainly am. Adding Apple and Intel’s Thunderbolt 3 technology to this mix makes the situation even more complicated.
Below is the terminology the USB Implementers Forum suggests companies utilize regarding USB-C formats:
- SuperSpeed USB 20Gbps (USB 3.2 Gen 2×2)
SuperSpeed USB 10Gbps (USB 3.1 Gen 2)
SuperSpeed USB (USB 3.1 Gen 1, which tops out at 5Gbps)
It’s unlikely that USB 3.2 2×2 will affect the smartphone world anytime soon given that Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 855 processor only supports data transfer speeds of 10Gbps, or USB 3.1 Gen 2.
In fact, when it comes to handsets, there’s likely not a practical purpose yet for a physical 20Gbps connection.
It’s unclear when the first USB 3.2 2×2 devices will start hitting the market.