What is the difference between USB 3.0 USB 3.1 and USB 3.2?
For almost two and a half decades, the universal serial bus, or USB, has been a reliable connector for a wide range of devices and systems.
When it comes to purchasing a USB cable or a device that employs this technology, however, the existence of multiple USB standards might be confusing.
This guide will walk you through the existing standards, their different names, and the capabilities of each standard.
What Is USB 3.0?
The USB 3.0 Super-Speed standard, which was released between 2009 and 2010, allows for potential speeds of up to 5 Gbps, which is ten times faster than the preceding USB 2.0 spec.
Because the USB 3.0 specification was included in the new USB 3.1 standard, USB 3.0 was renamed to USB 3.1 (Gen 1). The USB 3.0 and USB 3.1 (Gen 1) standards are the same.
It is backward compatible with USB 1.0 and USB 2.0 standards. It is easily identifiable with the blue color in the socket.
What Is USB 3.1?
The USB Implementers Forum announced the first update to the specification, USB 3.1, a few years after USB 3.0 was introduced. It also comes in two versions: USB 3.1 Gen1 and USB 3.1 Gen2.
USB 3.1 Gen1 has a 5 Gbps speed and is considered a USB 3.0 standard. The true USB 3.1 specification is USB 3.1 Gen2, which has a transmission rate of 10 Gbps when using the SuperSpeed+ mode.
With this specification, the current can reach 5A, which should fulfill practically all needs.
The suffix “Gen2” is always present in USB 3.1 Gen2 connectors. Only the writing “USB 3.1” or the suffix “Gen1” can be found in USB 3.1 Gen1 ports.
What Is USB 3.2?
In 2019, the USB 3.2 specification was released, allowing for data transfer rates of up to 20 Gbps.
All prior versions of USB 3 were rebranded as USB 3.2 and given a “Gen XxX” label to designate generation and number of lanes with the release of USB 3.2.
The USB Type-C ports must be used to fully exploit the USB 3.2 standard’s capabilities. The USB 3.2 type A connectors (the standard ones) will not support a data rate of 20 Gbps.
Also Read: Difference Between USB 2.0 and USB 3.0
Difference Between USB 3.0 USB 3.1 And USB 3.2: USB 3.0 VS USB 3.1 VS USB 3.2
|Specification||Old Name||New Name||Max. Speed||Common name|
|USB 3.0||USB 3.1 Gen 1||USB 3.2 Gen 1||5 Gbps||SuperSpeed USB 5Gbps|
|USB 3.1||USB 3.1 Gen 2||USB 3.2 Gen 2||10 Gbps||SuperSpeed USB 10 Gbps|
|USB 3.2||N/A||USB 3.2 Gen 2×2||20 Gbps||SuperSpeed USB 20Gbps|
The variances may be perplexing, but keep in mind that the most visible differences are in speed.
USB-IF proposed a different marketing name for each standard to prevent confusing consumers with technical details.
USB 3.2 Gen 1(USB 3.0, USB 3.1 Gen 1 and USB 3.2 Gen 2) should be identified as SuperSpeed USB while USB 3.2 Gen 2( USB 3.1 and USB 3.1 Gen 2) and USB 3.2 Gen 2×2(USB 3.2) are labeled as SuperSpeed USB 10Gbps and SuperSpeed USB 20Gbps, respectively.