Earlier 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.
"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.