USB 3.2 specification will double speeds using existing USB Type-C cables

USB 3.2

The advent of the USB Type-C connection meant an easier way to connect to PCs and mobile devices to chargers and peripherals. The connector is bi-directional, meaning that you don’t need to worry about orienting it the right way. Now, a faster new USB 3.2 specification has been announced that provides yet another advantage for USB Type-C.

The USB 3.0 Promoter Group announced the new USB 3.2 specification on Tuesday. It’s an incremental update that creates a new multi-lane operation for new USB 3.2 devices and offers the advantage of working with existing USB Type-C cables.

In the past, USB hosts and devices were single-lane, a limitation that did not extend to the new USB Type-C connection. USB 3.2 takes advantage of the multi-lane capabilities of the new connector and cables, providing for two lanes of 5Gb per second or 10Gb per second operation and thus double the speed of USB 3.1.

That means that a USB 3.2 host that connects to a USB 3.2 device can achieve greater than 2GB per second data-transfer rates. A USB Type-C connection that’s SuperSpeed USB 10Gb per second is required to achieve this level of performance. As usual, the new USB 3.2 connection will remain backward compatible with older USB 3.X devices.

Regarding the new USB specification, USB 3.0 Promoter Group Chairman Brad Saunders said:

“When we introduced USB Type-C to the market, we intended to assure that USB Type-C cables and connectors certified for SuperSpeed USB or SuperSpeed USB 10 Gbps would, as produced, support higher performance USB as newer generations of USB 3.0 were developed. The USB 3.2 update delivers the next level of performance.”

In addition to providing multi-lane operation with current USB Type-C cables, the USB 3.2 specification also provides for a minor update to the hub specification that also increases performance and ensures seamless transitions between single- and multi-lane operation.

The announcement is aimed at developers and the current final draft review phase will be completed and the final specification published by September during the USB Developer Days North America Event. Ultimately, all of this primarily means that USB Type-C connections are likely to become even more common on new machines as manufacturers seek to entice buyers with even faster performance.