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USB 3.2 will bring Thunderbolt 2-like speeds to desktops this year

USB 3.2 brings high speed 20Gbps speeds and a confusing naming scheme. (Source: Google)
USB 3.2 brings high speed 20Gbps speeds and a confusing naming scheme. (Source: Google)
The USB Implementers Forum has announced that the next generation of USB will be called USB 3.2. The new standard is capable of transferring data at 20Gbps, which puts it on a similar level to Intel’s Thunderbolt 2 technology first introduced in 2014 – the key difference is that USB is a much more generic technology and is much cheaper as a result.

The USB Implementers Forum has announced that it is bringing ultra high speed interconnect technology to the masses with its freshly minted USB 3.2 standard. The latest generation USB tech is capable of transferring data at a speedy 20Gbps, which puts it on a similar tier to Intel’s more expensive Thunderbolt 2 technology first introduced in 2014. The first PCs with the latest USB 3.2 controllers will ship later this year when the first motherboards will become available.

USB 3.2 will continue to use the same reversible USB-C connector that we have become increasingly familiar with over the past couple of years. As an added bonus, the new speeds will be achieved using existing cables so if you already have a USB-C cable you won’t need to upgrade it to enjoy the faster transfer rates. This has been achieved by adding dual lane operation support that is enabled with the latest controllers.

Incredibly, however, the USB Implementers Forum have managed to make things super confusing with regard to how the older USB 3.1 Gen 1 and Gen 2 technologies will be known, as it has renamed them to become part of the new USB 3.2 nomenclature. Moving forward USB 3.1 Gen 1 and USB 3.1 Gen 2 will be known as USB 3.2 Gen 1 and USB 3.2 Gen 2. The new faster speed will officially be known as USB 3.2 Gen 2 x 2. Why they didn’t simply call the latest standard USB 3.1 Gen 3 and call it a day, we will never know.

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2019 02 > USB 3.2 will bring Thunderbolt 2-like speeds to desktops this year
Sanjiv Sathiah, 2019-02-27 (Update: 2019-02-28)
Sanjiv Sathiah
Sanjiv Sathiah - News Editor
I have been tech-obsessed from the time my father introduced me to my first computer, an Apple ][. Since then, I have grown to enjoy exploring and experimenting with any computing platform that I can get my hands on – I am the definitive early adopter! I have always been interested in how we can use technology to shape and improve our lives, most recently using it to record, mix and master my debut record, Acuity – Nature | Nurture out now on Spotify.