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.