Understanding the USB Naming Scheme - USB 3.2 Gen 2x2? - PC SEEKERS

Understanding the USB Naming Scheme - USB 3.2 Gen 2x2?

Credit: Techquickie
 
Universal Serial Bus (USB), released in 1996, is an industry standard that establishes specifications for tables, connectors and protocols for connection, communication and power supply between computers, peripherals and other computers. A broad variety of USB hardware exists, including several different connectors, of which USB Type-C is the most recent. The USB standard is being currently maintained by the USB Implementer Forum (USB-IF).
There have been 3 generations of USB: USB 1.x, USB 2.0, USB 3.x until recently when USB4 was released in August of 2019. So what do these generations of USB mean? Lets learn.

In the beginning it was pretty simple and straight forward, so we started out with USB 1.0 which had speeds equal to 1.5 or 12 Mbits/sec, then we got USB 1.1 with speeds 12 Mbits/sec which had minor revisions compared to USB 1.0, then we got USB 2.0 which was much faster at 480 Mbits/sec, then we got USB 3.0 which was much faster again at 5 Gbits/sec.

 1

 USB 1.0

1.5 or 12 Mbits/sec

 USB 1.1

 12 Mbits/sec

 2

 USB 2.0

 480 Mbits/sec

 1

 USB 3.0

 5 Gbits/sec


It wasn't until in 2013 when things started getting a little weird, the original USB 3.0 spec had a maximum theoretical speed of 5 Gbits/sec as noted above, so naturally the next revision that doubled that speed to 10 Gbits/sec would be called USB 4.0 right? - Wrong. Instead, It was named USB 3.1. But that's not too confusing (yet) we can all live with it.
Meme credit: Techquickie

 1

 USB 3.0

5 Gbits/sec

 2

 USB 3.1

 10 Gbits/sec


The problem actually started when at the same time, they renamed USB 3.0 to USB 3.1 Gen 1 and called the new 10 Gbits/sec spec to USB 3.1 Gen 2.

 

 Previous Name

 New Name

Max Speed

 1

 USB 3.0

USB 3.1 Gen 1

5 Gbits/sec

 2

 

 USB 3.1 Gen 2

10 Gbits/sec


Now making matters worse we got another doubling in speed to 20 Gbits/sec. No, the doubling in speed is not the worst part at all actually its really good, the thing is USB Forum has given us even worse, nonsensical naming twist.

So bear with me, the original USB 3.0 5 Gbits/sec spec is now USB 3.2 Gen 1 with the 10 Gbits/sec version now being called USB 3.2 Gen 2, so by this logic the 20 Gbits/sec spec should now be called USB 3.2 Gen 3 right? Wrong again. Its actually called USB 3.2 Gen 2x2 in which the x2 means that there are 2 data lanes instead of just 1.

Then the USB Forum's marketing department has then gone and recommended the names SuperSpeed USB for USB 3.2 Gen 1, SuperSpeed USB 10Gbits/sec for USB 3.2 Gen 2 and SuperSpeed USB 20Gbits/sec for USB 3.2 Gen 2x2 to represent the products on store shelves.

Here's a table from Wikipedia to help you understand it better:


Credit: Techquickie

Here's a chart from Wikipedia if you're more interested into the hardware side of USB:
Credits: Wikipedia
 

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2 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing all this knowledge. Useful content ❤️

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My pleasure Geet ❤️ and thanks for the kind words ☺️

      Delete

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