Upcoming USB 3.2 Specification Will Double Data Rates Using Existing Cables
Jul 25, 2017 11:13 am PDT by Juli Clover
The USB 3.0 Promoter Group, comprising Apple, HP, Intel, Microsoft, and other companies, today introduced an upcoming USB 3.2 specification, which will eventually replace the existing USB 3.1 specification upon release.

An incremental update, USB 3.2 is designed to define multi-lane operation for USB 3.2 hosts and devices. USB Type-C cables already support multi-lane operation, and with USB 3.2, hosts and devices can be created as multi-lane solutions, allowing for either two lanes of 5Gb/s or two lanes of 10Gb/s operation.


With support for two lanes of 10Gb/s transfer speeds, performance is essentially doubled over existing USB-C cables.

As an example, the USB Promoter Group says a USB 3.2 host connected to a USB 3.2 storage device will be capable of 2GB/sec data transfer performance over a USB-C cable certified for USB SuperSpeed 10Gb/s USB 3.1, while also remaining backwards compatible with earlier USB devices.
"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," said Brad Saunders, USB 3.0 Promoter Group Chairman. "The USB 3.2 update delivers the next level of performance."
Along with two-lane operation, USB 3.2 continues to use SuperSpeed USB layer data rates and encoding techniques and will introduce a minor update to hub specifications for seamless transitions between single and two-lane operation.

More information about USB 3.2 will be unveiled at USB Developer Days 2017 later this year.

Tags: USB-C, USB 3.2

Top Rated Comments

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12 months ago
Meanwhile iPad Pro transfers at USB 2 speed to/from computers
Rating: 34 Votes
12 months ago

Thunderbolt 3 is 40 Gb/s and uses USB-C cables. What is the purpose of making an inferior standard with the same equipment?


thunderbolt has hefty license fees, and it requires its own chip to work.
meanwhile, the U in the USB stands for UNIVERSAL.
Rating: 24 Votes
12 months ago

People will still call Apple stupid for making the change to USB-C...

I find it stupid that a brand new 2017 MacBook Pro and iPhone 7 can't even be connected out of the box...
Rating: 20 Votes
12 months ago
Forget all this fancy talk and number mumbo jumbo. Just tell me when transferring 10GB of pics/songs/etc from my iMac to my iPhone won't take 4 hours to sync.
Rating: 18 Votes
12 months ago
Thunderbolt 3 is 40 Gb/s and uses USB-C cables. What is the purpose of making an inferior standard with the same equipment?
Rating: 18 Votes
12 months ago
What? New capability over an old cable? How very un-Apple like. :p
Rating: 17 Votes
12 months ago

People will still call Apple stupid for making the change to USB-C...


I'm calling them stupid for keeping the Lightning nonsense around instead of unifying all that mess..
Rating: 15 Votes
12 months ago

I think there's a typo in here, because as written 3.2 is only 20% as fast as 3.1. Either 3.2 should be 20 Gb/sec or 3.1 should be 1 Gb/s.

This seems crazy. I remember it used to take ~an hour to transfer that kind of data to my iPod and later my iPhone. Someday soon it'll take seconds.


I remember seeing a punchcard reader hit 49cpm in 1976.
Rating: 15 Votes
12 months ago

Please feel free to correct me, albeit politely, if I am wrong to understand that while the cables per se support the new 3.2 standard on their own, we would possibly not have this 3.2 standard on 2016 and 2017 MBPs and only the new MBPs might come with 3.2 support? The cables support the standard, but does the chipset in the current MBPs support it?

Like I said, please correct me/ enlighten me if I am wrong.

Correct. The USB controller would have to support it.

The iPhone 8 will be able to. This is a very small problem. Lightning was developed before USB-C and was a good standard at the time in terms of abilities. It's just unfortunate the timing of the introduction of the USB-C standard.

No one is calling Apple stupid for adopting USB-C. Rather, they are calling Apple stupid for dropping USB-A on the new MacBook Pro. I get why that is the case as USB-A is at least three years away from leaving widespread use; in fact I still don't own a single device with USB-C ports yet, so everything I buy will be USB-A.

Even Apple knows this, which is why they include a USB-A to Lightning cable with the iPhone 7 instead of USB-C to Lightning which the majority of iPhone customers won't be able to use with anything other than the included charger. I'm sure the situation on the iPhone 8 will be similar.
Rating: 8 Votes
12 months ago

Thunderbolt 3 is 40 Gb/s and uses USB-C cables. What is the purpose of making an inferior standard with the same equipment?


Implementing Thunderbolt on a device is costlier, more complex, and unnecessary in many cases.
Rating: 8 Votes

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