USB 3.0 & USB 3.1 merger into USB 3.2 branding by overseers further confusing USB-C

Posted:
in General Discussion edited February 26
The USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF) has muddied the waters surrounding how different USB standards are named, with USB 3.0 and USB 3.1 set to become different generations of USB 3.2, while USB 3.2 itself will become the more confusingly named "USB 3.2 Gen 2x2."

A USB Type-C cable is used to connect to MacBooks.
A USB Type-C cable is used to connect to MacBooks.


Announced as part of Mobile World Congress, the USB-IF is absorbing the prior USB 3-based specifications into USB 3.2, making all three versions use the same name but under three different generations.

What was previously referred to as USB 3.0, and at one point USB 3.1 Gen 1, will instead have the technical name USB 3.2 Gen 1, due to being the earliest of the three generations, reports Toms Hardware. USB 3.1, also known as USB 3.1 Gen 2, is being renamed USB 3.2 Gen 2.

To add to the confusion, the unreleased USB 3.2 will not follow the expected convention of being called USB 3.2 Gen 3, but instead will be known as USB 3.2 Gen 2x2. The odd numbering change is in reference to its maximum data transfer rate of 20Gbps, which it achieves by using two 10Gbps channels, namely double the amount of channels used by USB Gen 2.

The name changes for USB 3.1, USB 3.1, and USB 3.2
The name changes for USB 3.1, USB 3.1, and USB 3.2


The spec names have nothing to do with the physicality of the connector. USB 3.2 Gen 1 and USB 3.2 Gen 2 can connect with the rectangular USB-A or the USB-C connector. USB 3.2 gen 2x2 is limited to USB-C only. Thunderbolt 3 branding and naming remains unchanged.

For marketing purposes, USB-IF suggests a slightly more logical naming scheme. While USB 3.2 Gen 1 should be called SuperSpeed USB, Gen 2 is to be termed SuperSpeed USB 10Gbps, with the inclusion of the speed to denote it as faster than Gen 1. USB 3.2 Gen 2x2 is being given a similar marketing term of SuperSpeed USB 20Gbps.

It is suggested devices using USB 3.2 Gen 2x2 will be arriving in 2019 on high-performance desktops, with peripherals likely to arrive in 2020 once support for the standard becomes more widespread.

Apple is a notable member of the USB 3.0 Promoter Group, which means it is highly likely to be an early adopter of USB 3.2 Gen 2x2 in its hardware.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 38
    frank777frank777 Posts: 5,792member
    If I didn't know better, I'd think Thunderbolt devotees were intentionally sabotaging USB efforts.

    But no, it's USB's own proponents that are destroying its branding.
    randominternetpersonchiaAppleExposeddysamoriatmayllamawatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 38
    cpsrocpsro Posts: 2,460member
    Horsepucky. USB 3.2 Gen 2 isn't the 2nd generation of USB 3.2, and USB 3.2 Gen 1 is the first generation of USB 3.2 in name only.

    Call them simply:  USB 3.1, 3.2 and 3.3

    And by the way, "10Gbps" doesn't denote gen2 is faster than gen1 unless gen1 SuperSpeed USB is necessarily attached to the moniker "5Gbps". Oh, except, the manufacturers merely intend to confuse consumers.
    edited February 26 olswatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 38
    Perhaps this is what you get when a committee of engineers is charged with a marketing task?

    I thought the WiFi protocols were confusing; these USB guys take the cake.
    racerhomie3chiacornchipStrangeDayslolliverlorin schultzmacxpressdysamoriapscooter63gutengel
  • Reply 4 of 38
    As an engineer myself, this is the kind of crap that happens when the engineers get to do the product naming and marketing. My expertise is definitely NOT in marketing, but even I know this is going to be complete garbage to the average consumer.
    chiaolscornchipStrangeDayslolliverzeus423stevenozdysamoriagutengelwatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 38
    Reminds me why Apple has wisdoms that much of the industry lacks. They would never do this to their customers. 

    Who remembers the Apple Desktop Bus tech? It's an interesting read:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apple_Desktop_Bus

    ... and reminds me that Apple didn't invent it entirely from scratch, as it would appear at first glance, but instead incorporates existing technologies into the final solution. Sound familiar?

    cornchipStrangeDayswatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 38
    Reminds me why Apple has wisdoms that much of the industry lacks. They would never do this to their customers. 

    Who remembers the Apple Desktop Bus tech? It's an interesting read:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apple_Desktop_Bus

    ... and reminds me that Apple didn't invent it entirely from scratch, as it would appear at first glance, but instead incorporates existing technologies into the final solution. Sound familiar?

    Sure do remember it. The best thing about ADB was allowing a power button on the keyboard. To this day I wish modern desktop Macs could start up this way. 
    edited February 26 txsbaker75StrangeDayszeus423dysamoriallamawatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 7 of 38
    What the heck are they thinking? What's wrong with 3.1, 3.2, and 3.3? It clearly indicates incremental advancement and implies improved performance. I've seen very few device manufacturers provide any significant detail regarding connector specifications even in their "manuals", let alone their marketing materials or packaging. They're certainly not going to squeeze this ludicrous naming schema onto the side of a device. FWIW, most users could care less about the connection speed, they're just going to be frustrated when their device doesn't work because their port is not compatible with it despite having what appears to be the exact same connection. And I say that as the guy who actually reads the specs, manuals, tech data, and documentation (when it exists).
    dysamoriacaladanianllamawatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 38
    It seems the same people working on naming USB standards also work on Apple’s iPhone naming team.

    Assuming their current naming conventions continue, we can look forward to the iPhone XrS and iPhone XsS Max followed by the iPhone XIr and iPhone XI Max. 

    It remains to be seen whether the iPhone XrS and iPhone XsS Max will support USB 3.2 Gen 2x2. 

    Somebody please send these marketing people back to school. 
    entropysuraharazeus423kuducaladanian
  • Reply 9 of 38
    AppleExposedAppleExposed Posts: 901unconfirmed, member
    Perhaps this is what you get when a committee of engineers is charged with a marketing task?

    I thought the WiFi protocols were confusing; these USB guys take the cake.
    SD Cards guys take the cake.

    64GB U3 V10 A1
    neo-techlorin schultzzeus423dysamoriapscooter63randominternetpersoncaladanianllamawatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 38
    I’d hate to see what they named their kids.  Do they rename them I’d they had an unexpected third child?  If child 3 can run twice as fast as child two, but is the opposite gender, (child 2 a girl named Sally) do they rename Timmy (child 3) Sally x2?
    zeus423pscooter63randominternetpersonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 38
    sreesree Posts: 104member
    The thing here is that as it stands USB-C port is costly since they need to support USB3.2 with it. How do you get USB-C ports on $300 laptops and $100 phones? You keep the USB-C port, but use the tech from USB3.0 to cut costs.

    Suddenly that $300 laptop can claim to have 6 USB-C ports instead of the 4 ports that macbook has, by just repackaging the existing USB3.0 chipset with a different looking outer slot. If they do that currently they would have to say 'USB-C with USB3.0 speeds', after this change they can just say USB3.2 SuperSpeed port and make themselves look like they are on the latest tech.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 38
    This is so ridiculous. I remember when the original USB cable/interface was first introduced. The big promise was that it would end all the confusion and frustration involved with having to manage so many different types of cables and connections. Yeah, umm, how's that working out for ya?
    neo-techzeus423dysamoriarandominternetpersoncaladanianwatto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 38
    dumb stupid idiot no good dumb dumb stupid dumb
    dysamoriawatto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 38
    stompystompy Posts: 334member
    The USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF) has muddied the waters surrounding how different USB standards are named, with USB 3.0 and USB 3.1 set to become different generations of USB 3.2, while USB 3.2 itself will become the more confusingly named "USB 3.2 Gen 2x2."
    They only did this because so many people claimed that USB 3 naming and branding couldn't get any more confusing. /s
    randominternetpersonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 38

    It is suggested devices using USB 3.2 Gen 2x2 will be arriving in 2019 on high-performance desktops, with peripherals likely to arrive in 2020 once support for the standard becomes more widespread.

    KISS is obviously not high on their agenda then??????
    cornchipwatto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 38
    anomeanome Posts: 1,269member
    So we have a new version of USB, but that means we have to rename all the old versions...Cheeniussss!
    edited February 26 dysamoriarandominternetpersonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 38
    When you summon a lawyer to a meeting, you start with a pentagram.

    And, now it’s *666 for marketing...
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 38
    boredumbboredumb Posts: 1,415member

    It is suggested devices using USB 3.2 Gen 2x2 will be arriving in 2019 on high-performance desktops, with peripherals likely to arrive in 2020 once support for the standard becomes more widespread.

    KISS is obviously not high on their agenda then??????
    You mean, "Keep It Stupid???  Simple!".
    MplsPdysamoriawatto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 38
    Okay, so:

    USB 3.0 is now Nipple
    USB 3.1 is now Squirrel
    USB 3.2 is now Ham

    Got it.
    dysamoriawatto_cobra
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