USB-C Connector

USB 3.2 Standard to Bring 20Gbps Throughput

After being standardized back in 2017, the USB-IF has announced that USB 3.2 ports should be available on high-end PCs later this year. The news came out of Mobile World Congress happening in Barcelona, Spain this week. The standard, which allows for dual-lane operation that allows for 20Gbps throughput. Essentially it is bonding of channels within a USB-C port that already exist in the port today. However, to achieve the high-end throughput offered by 3.2, cables and ports will have to be built to handle it. The good news is that with these new USB 3.2 ports, old cables will still work as it is a standard USB-C port.

The question now is when these ports will show up on PCs. It is likely not going to be until mid-2019 before motherboards start coming equipped with them and it could be the end of the year before accessories become available. Realistically, it is likely going to be 2020 before deep market penetration of USB 3.2 ports is available.

For Mac users, this may be ho-hum news given Thunderbolt 3, which shares the USB-C connector, already offers 40Gbps throughput. But the problem with Thunderbolt 3 is the price. It is expensive for motherboard – and in turn PC – manufactures to implement. Thus you rarely see PCs with a Thunderbolt 3 connection on them. It is almost exclusively Mac.

As part of this standard, the USB-IF has announced the naming conventions for all of the various speeds. Here is how they will be marketed:

  • USB 3.2 Gen 1 (5Gbps SuperSpeed)
  • USB 3.2 Gen 2 (10Gbps SuperSpeed+)
  • USB 3.2 Gen2x2 (2x10Gbps SuperSpeed+)

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