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USB Finalizes 10Gbps SuperSpeed+ Standard as USB 3.1

NewImageEarlier this year, the trade organization behind the USB 3.0 specification proposed a new version of USB 3 that supports 10Gbps of data transfer over a backwards compatible connector.

The spec has now been finalized, and the first developer sessions will begin later this month.
SuperSpeed USB 10 Gbps uses a more efficient data encoding and will deliver more than twice the effective data through-put performance of existing SuperSpeed USB over enhanced, fully backward compatible USB connectors and cables. Compatibility is assured with existing USB 3.0 software stacks and device class protocols as well as with existing 5 Gbps hubs and devices and USB 2.0 products.

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"While maintaining backward compatibility, USB continues to advance to meet customer's growing need for higher speed data" said Roland Sperlich, TI Consumer and Computing Interface Product Line Manager. "The 10 Gbps data rate allows designers across many industries to do more with a universal standard."
The first products with USB 3.1 should launch sometime in 2014.

Thunderbolt, which moves data at up to 10Gbps in both directions, appears mostly on Apple devices currently, but devices tend to be more expensive than their USB 3.0-compatible counterparts. However, Thunderbolt does have a strong ally in Intel, with the company pushing the standard heavily.

Thunderbolt 2, the next generation of the protocol, will support 20Gbps bi-directionally, but Thunderbolt 2 devices are also expected to be significantly more expensive than USB. The new Mac Pro, expected sometime this fall, will be the first mass market device to come with Thunderbolt 2, with the device equipped with 6 ports across two separate control boards.

Top Rated Comments

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14 months ago
So let me get this straight, USB 3.1 is much much cheaper, uses simple cables with no electronics inside, is fully backward compatible and is ubiquitous while Thunderbolt is expensive, exclusively high-end, rare and requires cables with fancy chips inside, without actually being faster?

Sure, Thunderbolt 2 will be even faster, but then so will USB 3.2 and so on...
Rating: 28 Votes
14 months ago
I'm afraid this would make thunderbolt the "firewire part 2"
Rating: 22 Votes
14 months ago
I'll be honest. Most people commenting don't know about the underlying technologies and just go off the 'specs'.

USB 3.1 is fine and dandy, it doesn't hold a candle to Thunderbolt, v1 or v2.

USB is for consumers, Thunderbolt is for the Pro's.

I will never trade Thunderbolt for USB.
Rating: 19 Votes
14 months ago

So let me get this straight, USB 3.1 is much much cheaper, uses simple cables with no electronics inside, is fully backward compatible and is ubiquitous while Thunderbolt is expensive, exclusively high-end, rare and requires cables with fancy chips inside, without actually being faster?

Sure, Thunderbolt 2 will be even faster, but then so will USB 3.2 and so on...

There's a difference between theoretical and real life performance (with USB the difference tends to be the biggest). Furthermore, Thunderbolt actually offers a lot more possibilities and is much more advanced than USB 3.
However I do agree that probably 95% of Mac users won't ever use Thunderbolt (except for Displayport adapters). It's even a lot less popular than FireWire used to be. It's a shame Apple pushed Thunderbolt in their 2011 Mac models before adopting USB 3, which people actually use.
Rating: 15 Votes
14 months ago
Why don't these guys just team the f**# up and make it one mother***#$% port.

It's just the consumer that dies slowly in the end...
Rating: 15 Votes
14 months ago

I'll be honest. Most people commenting don't know about the underlying technologies and just go off the 'specs'.

USB 3.1 is fine and dandy, it doesn't hold a candle to Thunderbolt, v1 or v2.

USB is for consumers, Thunderbolt is for the Pro's.

I will never trade Thunderbolt for USB.


+1000

I'll never say that thunderbolt and associated products are cheap, but the ignorance I'm seeing in these comments is a little discouraging.

No mention of the type of data being transmitted, source and destination, etc, to say nothing of the whole power and daisy-chaining thing, um yeah. Oh and that's if the average user is actually saturating the USB 3.x channel with a raid of HDDs? SSDs?
Rating: 15 Votes
14 months ago
USB and Thunderbolt are different technologies for different purposes. Yes, there is some crossover functionality between the two. But they are different technologies altogether. Like someone stated on here, only a small percentage of users will need/use Thunderbolt, at our studio it's pretty critical for our needs. USB 3.1 will also be a welcome tech here as well.
Rating: 13 Votes
14 months ago

Thunderbolt, which moves data at up to 10Gbps in both directions, appears mostly on Apple devices currently, but devices tend to be more expensive than their USB 3.0-compatible counterparts.


Now that's an understatement! Devices that use thunderbolt are MUCH MORE expensive and MUCH LESS readily available. For anyone other than the rare pro user thunderbolt is useless.
Rating: 13 Votes
14 months ago
Plus USB sucks up CPU cycles.
Rating: 10 Votes
14 months ago
This is ridiculous.

USB3 and Thunderbolt is not an either/or equation. Is TB more expensive? Yes. Is it faster? Yes. Not every faster, better technology gets to be immediately commoditized so that every layperson can/should use it.

Some will say USB3.1 is fast enough. For those people, great! But for those that need the extra bandwidth, however large that group is; Thunderbolt is the faster [better] option, and I've never thought twice about the price premium, because it enables me to get my work done faster, and do more.

This is like saying the new MacPro should be cheaper, and that iMacs will replace them all. If you need that power, it comes at a cost. And just because you don't need it or can't afford it- doesn't make it any less necessary to those who do.

This strikes me as a bizarre kind of tech entitlement.

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USB3.1 ... oh no.... i am wondering if I should hold off the new MacPro and wait for the newer MacPro next year which may have USB 3.1 instead of 3.0 :(


Please do- then mine won't be backordered as long.
Rating: 8 Votes

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