USB 3.2 promises twice the performance of USB 3.1

Martin Brinkmann
Jul 27, 2017
Updated • Jul 27, 2017

USB 3.0 was a big step up from USB 2.0 in terms of performance, which in turn was a big improvement over USB 1.0.

It then got a bit confusing when USB 3.1 was introduced, as it was decided to rename USB 3.0 devices to USB 3.1 Gen 1, and pave the way for USB 3.1 Gen 2 devices on top of that.

USB 3.1 Gen 2, or SuperSpeed USB 10 Gbps, is the fastest version of USB right now. It offers speeds up to 10 Gbit/s which effectively doubles the speed of USB 3.1 Gen 2 devices which are good for a maximum transfer speed of 5 Gbit/s.

The USB 3.0 Promoter Group announced the pending release of the USB 3.2 specification on July 25, 2017. It is an incremental update that introduces multi-lan operations for new hosts and devices that support USB 3.2 as well as other improvements such as fast charging advancements.

Tip: use USB Device Tree View to get a quick overview of all USB devices on Windows.

USB 3.2

New USB 3.2 hosts and devices can now be designed as multi-lane solutions, allowing for up to two lanes of 5 Gbps or two lanes of 10 Gbps operation. This enables platform developers to continue advancing USB products to fit their customers’ needs by effectively doubling the performance across existing cables. For example, a USB 3.2 host connected to a USB 3.2 storage device will now be capable of realizing over 2 GB/sec data transfer performance over an existing USB Type-C™ cable that is certified for SuperSpeed USB 10 Gbps

USB 3.2 doubles the performance of USB 3.1 Gen 1 devices. They make use of USB Type-C cables and connectors, but require new hardware to make use of the advancements. This means that devices, e.g. a hard drive connected via USB need to come with USB 3.2 support, and that the machine these devices get connected to needs to support it as well. So, this means essentially a new motherboard or, if available, PCI Express cards that add support for USB 3.2 to the computer.

For users to obtain the full benefit of this performance increase, a new USB 3.2 host must be used with a new USB 3.2 device and the appropriate certified USB Type-C cable.

The USB 3.2 update targets developers first and foremost at this time according to the announcement. The USB 3.0 Promoter Group plans to reveal a formal release of the new specification in September 2017.

It will take some time before first devices will become available to consumers though, and that it will take even longer for devices to really take advantage of the improved performance that USB 3.2 offer.

Now You: What's the maximum USB version that your computer supports?

USB 3.2 promises twice the performance of USB 3.1
Article Name
USB 3.2 promises twice the performance of USB 3.1
The USB 3.0 Promoter Group announced the pending release of the USB 3.2 specification on July 25, 2017, which describes the next version of USB.
Ghacks Technology News

Tutorials & Tips

Previous Post: «
Next Post: «


  1. cyb3rkat said on July 27, 2017 at 7:32 pm

    Don’t you mean “USB 3.1 Gen 2” when you’re saying “USB 3.2 doubles the performance of USB 3.1 Gen 1 devices”, instead?

  2. CHEF-KOCH said on July 27, 2017 at 6:15 pm

    Dunno what they smoke, several 3.1 ‘standards’ with different type of cables. It’s not even standard for everyone for now and yet again we get the same mess next year with another ‘standard’. Holy Debian! Someone needs to get fired because of this! Make one or maximum two cables and that’s it – hard isn’t it?

  3. Nik said on July 27, 2017 at 4:31 pm

    whatever happened to USB -C?

  4. hirobo2 said on July 27, 2017 at 4:23 pm

    None of my hardware go beyond USB 3.0 with the traditional nonreversible connector. By the time I need to replace them, the stupidity of the latest USB iterations will have blown over, and we might even be at USB 5.0…

  5. The dude said on July 27, 2017 at 3:44 pm

    USB channel can be light speed but they are limited by the flash memory cells i/o speed.
    So the actual speed is limited.

  6. Megan Davis said on July 27, 2017 at 2:43 pm

    Wow! I love this. It speeds up everything. It delivers the next level of performance.

  7. kalmly said on July 27, 2017 at 2:31 pm

    Good news for anyone obsessed with speed. I still have some USB 2.0 drives, and I am unimpressed with the differences in the time it takes to back up to one of those compared to the other drives. What does impress me is the much lower price I pay for older USB drives. So as USB 3.2 takes over, I’ll be able to grab 3.1s and 3.0s for tiny prices. How cool is that?

    1. Mystique said on July 28, 2017 at 1:17 pm

      I actually feel like there is a significant difference between USB 2 and USB 3 in transfer speeds if it used correctly but it could be just me because I try to steer well clear of USB 2 these days particularly for devices which pertains to data storage/transfer.

    2. Don said on July 27, 2017 at 10:37 pm

      I opted for expensive speed. I got one of those fancy mSATA SSD drives. Connected with USB3 and Type-C, backups are seconds rather than minutes. Wonderful!

  8. Mike J. said on July 27, 2017 at 2:23 pm

    This is the first I have heard of USB 3.1. I have never seen a device for sale under this spec.

    1. AnorKnee Merce said on July 27, 2017 at 5:36 pm

      @ Mike J

      The so-called USB-C present in some of today’s devices is usually a Type-C connector using the very modern USB 3.1 Gen2 standard = 10Gbps/100W = can power laptops and be connected to an external display.

      USB 3.1 Gen1 = USB 3.0 = is usually a blue-colored Type-A connector = 5Gbps/4.5W.

      There are also Type-A connectors using USB 3.1 Gen2 standard = usually light blue/teal or red in color.

      There are also Type-C connectors using USB 2.0 or USB 3.0 standard. Avoid them.

  9. ausca said on July 27, 2017 at 2:15 pm

    Very nice, but have they fixed the fundamental USB security problems yet?

  10. TIm said on July 27, 2017 at 1:14 pm

    Whoever’s in charge of USB needs to organise it a lot better. It’s all over the place and too confusing as it is now.

    1. AnorKnee Merce said on July 27, 2017 at 4:25 pm

      Yes, agree. The coming USB 3.2 standard that is only specific to Type-C connectors will add to the present confusion about USB connectors.
      ……. Remember that USB 1.0/2.0/3.0/3.1 are different standards while Type-A/B/C are different shapes of the connectors.

      Let me try to recap;
      1. USB 2.0 = black color for Type-A = 4 pins = data transfer speed of 480Mbps = 2.5W of power.
      2. USB 3.0 or USB 3.1 Gen1 = blue color for Type-A = 9 pins = 5Gbps = 4.5W
      3. USB 3.1 Gen2 = light blue or red color for Type-A = 10Gbps = 100Wcharging/15W device
      4. USB 3.2 on Type-C only = will double the data transfer speed of USB 3.1 Gen1 and Gen2
      5. Thunderbolt 3 on Type-C only = 40Gbps = 100W charging/15W device
      ……. 3, 4 and 5 can power most laptops, but not most desktops.

      1. Type-A = connect to host computers/desktops, gaming consoles, etc = 4 or 9 pins = only data transfer and power.
      2. Type-B = connect to client/peripheral smartphones, printer, digital camera, etc = 4, 5, 9 or 10 pins = data transfer and/or power(eg power only for a charging cable = no data transfer).
      Difference in shape of Type-A and Type-B is to prevent short-circuit if host connected to another host.
      3. Type-C = connect to both host and client/peripheral devices, esp thin ones, is reversible and power delivery is bi-directional = 24 pins = data, power and video/audio for the display = can potentially replace all other cables, eg headphone jack, VGA/HDMI/DisplayPort, Power/charging cable, etc.

      1. A Type-C connector can use USB 2.0 or USB 3.0 or USB 3.1 Gen2 or USB 3.2 or Thunderbolt 3 standard.
      2. A Type-A connector can only use USB 2.0 or USB 3.0 or USB 3.1 Gen2 standard.
      _ _ _ _ _ _ _

      1. USB 3.1 Gen 2 should have been called USB 4.0 = less confusing.
      2. If a Type-C cable uses the USB 3.1 Gen2 standard, it should be called USB-C/3.1 = the default configuration = optimum performance .
      If a Type-C cable uses the Thunderbolt 3 standard = USB-C/T3. If uses the USB 3.0 standard = USB-C/3.0.
      3. The Type-C connector is tiny and has 24 pins.! = quite flimsy = should be handled with care.

      1. lee hughes said on August 4, 2017 at 1:09 pm

        thank you!

      2. Wayfarer said on July 29, 2017 at 3:21 am

        Outstanding. This kind of info is widely available, but rarely so well expressed.
        Many thanks.

      3. stilofilos said on July 28, 2017 at 12:02 pm

        @AnorKnee Merce, let me join Mikhoul in thanking you wholeheartedly for this great overview. It will come in handily when puzzling over the next issue with this chaos, when that windows is telling me things could be sped up but not adding how…

        Of course many thanks to Mikhoul and Martin as well. This forum rocks !

      4. Mikhoul said on July 27, 2017 at 8:42 pm

        I found you explanation very clear and worth of being enhanced and shared for the other users.

        Here we go, complete structured and with photos:

        Thanks for your time writing those clear explanations.

    2. Mystique said on July 27, 2017 at 2:23 pm

      It might be me just getting older but it seems like a more common occurrence these days to have such confusions and ridiculous specs (not mention naming schemes). Ask anyone trying to set up a valid system to watch movies to spec. 4K, FULLHD, HDMI version, HDR version, UMD, Cinavia, Region, BDXL, BD+ etc etc

      Such stupidity only does the opposite for the cause and consumers simply feel reluctant to upgrade to new formats or systems because they feel it will only get replaced in a month or so and continuously wait for the next “big thing”.

      USB used to be such a simple and stable format and now it just seems to be “all over the place and too confusing”

    3. Wayfarer said on July 27, 2017 at 2:11 pm

      Plus – in the real world – new standards take an age to impact the average user, unless they constantly want to be buying new kit.

Leave a Reply

Check the box to consent to your data being stored in line with the guidelines set out in our privacy policy

We love comments and welcome thoughtful and civilized discussion. Rudeness and personal attacks will not be tolerated. Please stay on-topic.
Please note that your comment may not appear immediately after you post it.