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.

[…]

"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

baryon Avatar
143 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...
Score: 28 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Tankmaze Avatar
143 months ago
I'm afraid this would make thunderbolt the "firewire part 2"
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)
milwaukeeJ Avatar
143 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.
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
GSPice Avatar
143 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?
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
bb426 Avatar
143 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...
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ResPublica Avatar
143 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.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

iPhone 15 Pro Cameras

iPhone 17 Pro Max Will Be First Model to Feature Three 48MP Cameras

Thursday July 11, 2024 12:20 am PDT by
Next year's iPhone 17 Pro Max will feature an upgraded 48-megapixel Tetraprism camera for enhanced photo quality and zoom functionality, according to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. In his n-iphone-tetraprism-upgrade-ca62dd37e364">latest investor note published to Medium, Kuo said the key specification change would be a 1/2.6" 48MP CIS sensor, up from the 1/3.1" 12MP sensor expected to be used...
Beyond iPhone 13 Better Blue Face ID Single Camera Hole

10 Reasons to Wait for Next Year's iPhone 17

Monday July 8, 2024 5:00 am PDT by
Apple's iPhone development roadmap runs several years into the future and the company is continually working with suppliers on several successive iPhone models simultaneously, which is why we sometimes get rumored feature leaks so far ahead of launch. The iPhone 17 series is no different – already we have some idea of what to expect from Apple's 2025 smartphone lineup. If you plan to skip...
maxresdefault

Apple's AirPods Pro 2 vs. Samsung's Galaxy Buds3 Pro

Saturday July 13, 2024 8:00 am PDT by
Samsung this week introduced its latest earbuds, the Galaxy Buds3 Pro, which look quite a bit like Apple's AirPods Pro 2. Given the similarities, we thought we'd compare Samsung's new earbuds to the AirPods Pro. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Design wise, you could potentially mistake Samsung's Galaxy Buds3 Pro for the AirPods Pro. The Buds3 Pro have the same...
primeday2020 feature3

The Best Early Prime Day Deals on Apple Products

Saturday July 13, 2024 6:23 am PDT by
Amazon is soon to be back with its annual summertime Prime Day event, lasting for just two days from July 16-17. As it does every year, Prime Day offers shoppers a huge selection of deals across Amazon's storefront, and there are already many deals you can get on sale ahead of the event. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Amazon. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may...