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USB 3.2 in the works for a 2019 launch

USB 3.2 in the works for a 2019 launch (Source:
USB 3.2 in the works for a 2019 launch (Source:
Theoretical transfer rates will double to 20 Gbps without even needing to purchase any new cables.

The current USB 3.1 standard made its debut four years ago in July 2013. The specification allows for a theoretical transfer rate of up to 10 Gbps or double that of USB 3.0. Now, members of the USB 3.0 Promoter Group are at the cusp of finalizing the USB 3.2 specification that will again double the theoretical transfer rate to 20 Gbps.

According to the press release, the pending USB 3.2 specification will enable "multi-lane support for up to two lanes of 5 Gbps or two lanes of 10 Gbps operation" in order to double the current 10 Gbps limit. In typical USB fashion, the new standard will be backwards compatible to avoid further marginalizing the USB format. The best part is that existing USB Type-C cables will be able to benefit from the faster speeds assuming that the proper USB 3.2 host and USB 3.2-enabled device are connected. Thus, users are not necessarily required to purchase special "USB 3.2 cables" to take advantage of the new standard.

At 20 Gbps, USB 3.2 would be just as fast as the four year-old Thunderbolt 2 port but with improved versatility and support amongst a potentially wider range of products. The USB Promoter Group will formally unveil the new specification come September 2017 during the USB Developer Days North America event with talks on how to properly market the new port to consumers.


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Allen Ngo, 2017-07-27 (Update: 2017-07-27)