USB 3.2 Standard Has Gotten A More Confusing Naming Scheme

USB 3.2 Standard

Back in September 2017, the USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF) officially announced the specifications of the upcoming USB 3.2 standard. Finally, supported devices are going to release later this year (2019), which can achieve transfer speed of up to 20 Gbps. However, the USB-IF decides to add more confusion to the already complicated naming scheme of the USB standard.

It was all organised and easy to understand when USB 1.0, USB 2.0 are the mainstream standards. Then, USB 3.0 and 3.1 were released, which were later changed to USB 3.1 Gen 1 and Gen 2. Now, their name will be altered once again with the new USB 3.2 standard.


USB 3.2 Gen 1

  • Product capability: product signals at 5Gbps
  • Marketing name: SuperSpeed USB

USB 3.2 Gen 2

  • Product capability: product signals at 10Gbps
  • Marketing name: SuperSpeed USB 10Gbps

USB 3.2 Gen 2×2

  • Product capability: product signals at 20Gbps
  • Marketing name: SuperSpeed USB 20Gbps

The updated naming scheme will be based on the maximum theoretical transfer speed and used lanes of the USB standard. The new USB 3.2 standard, with up to 20 Gbps of transfer speed, will be called USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 or SuperSpeed USB 20Gbps. At the same time, the older USB 3.1 Gen 1 and Gen 2 will be named USB 3.2 Gen 1 and USB 3.2 Gen 2 or SuperSpeed USB and SuperSpeed USB 10Gbps respectively.

In my opinion, USB-IF should think of a simpler way to allow less tech-savvy consumers to distinguish between different standards and their rated speeds. Renaming and re-branding older standards frequently just is not the way to improve it.

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