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USB 3.x

USB 3.0 was launched in 2008, it provided an unprecedented increase in transfer speeds (up to 5Gbps) and added more power to connect more peripherals. In 2013 another major leap was made with the introduction of USB 3.1, doubling the speeds to as much as 10Gbps! Recently however, the USB-IF organisation published an article where they announced that USB 3.0 connectors capable of 5Gbps (SuperSpeed) would now be classified as USB 3.1 Gen 1. While the new USB 3.1 connectors, capable of 10Gbps (SuperSpeed+) would now be classified as USB 3.1 Gen 2.

USB 3.0 is now called USB 3.1 Gen 1 (Speed up to 5Gbps) USB 3.1 is now called USB 3.1 Gen 2 (Speed up to 10Gbps)

Next to the new naming of the USB revisions, you might also have noticed the new Type-C connector being mentioned more and more. The Type-A connector is the USB connector found on most devices these days. However, as everyone who has ever connected a USB device knows, the connector has to be positioned in a specific way to allow you to plug it in. You will not run into this problem with the Type-C connector, which is symmetrical. This means it will fit no matter which way is pointing up!

One word of caution when you see that shiny new Type-C connector on your new motherboard or notebook: Type-C is not automatically linked to USB 3.1 Gen 2 speeds (up to 10Gbps). Some products with the Type-C connector still only support USB 3.1 Gen 1 speeds (up to 5Gbps).

So when you're shopping for a new product that includes a Type-C connector, always check if it has USB 3.1 Gen 1 or Gen 2 specifications!

USB 3.2 has been released and all the names are all screwed up again.

New Name Old Name Original Name SuperSpeed Name Max Speed
New Name Old Name Original Name SuperSpeed Name Max Speed
USB 3.2 Gen 2x2 n/a USB 3.2 SuperSpeed USB 20Gbps 20Gbps
USB 3.2 Gen 2 USB 3.1 Gen 2 USB 3.1 SuperSpeed USB 10Gbps 10Gbps
USB 3.2 Gen 1 USB 3.1 Gen 1 USB 3.0 SuperSpeed USB 5Gbps