USB SuperSpeed + specification approved as USB 3.1

If you bought a new Windows PC in the last couple of years, the chances are good it has a USB 3.0 port inside. This week, the group that controls the USB specifications approved an even faster version of USB which increases its top data speed transfer rate up to 10 Gbps, compared to the current 5 Gbps.

Previously known as USB SuperSpeed +, the new specification will now be known as USB 3.1. Any such port will be backwards compatible with current USB 3.0 and 2.0 devices. Brad Saunders, the Chairman of the USB 3.0 Promoter Group Chairman, stated:

The USB 3.1 specification primarily extends existing USB 3.0 protocol and hub operation for speed scaling along with defining the next higher physical layer speed as 10 Gbps ... The specification team worked hard to make sure that the changes made to support higher speeds were limited and remained consistent with existing USB 3.0 architecture to ease product development.

There's no word yet on when the first PCs with USB 3.1 ports will be released, but the Promoter Group will be holding developer events in the US in August, Ireland in October and somewhere in Asia in December to help assist in the creation of products made for the new standard.

Intel's rival port technology, Thunderbolt, already has support for 10 Gbps transfer speeds but so far only a few Windows PCs have adopted the technology, although it's included in most of Apple's new Macs. The next version of the port, Thunderbolt 2, will increase those data speeds to 20 Gbps and will become available slowly by the end of 2013.

Source: USB 3.0 Promoter Group | Image via USB 3.0 Promoter Group

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BailaSheyla said,
ANd i just bought a 3.0 usb flash drive -_-

That doesn't matter. Now buying a external 3.0 drive with a external powersource would really ****s me off.

Need to be convinced on the usage scenario here.. Maybe an external SSD drive?
Or moving large movie files and photos from my DLSRs to the computer? That's about it for me, really.

I am most interested in USB 3.1 docks / displays that can charge a Surface Pro or other laptop/tablet. I think DisplayLink is already working on it.

Does this support up to 100W? Or profiles for up to 100W are different extension? 5A 20V on USB sounds particularly nice, less cables.

Seems to be true.
Quote from other news source:
Alongside the speed improvements, USB 3.1 also brings new power delivery profiles (as previously reported) that allow for up to 100W to be sent through a USB cable. In theory this allows laptops to charge through new, "detectable" USB cables attached to high-powered hubs such as TVs or desktop PCs, and can remove the necessity to use power bricks for external 3.5-inch hard drives.

neat, now you can connect a printer and monitor without needing power cables (assuming manufacturers bring out usb 3.1 monitors and printers).

ACTIONpack said,
Is USB and Thunderbolt both created by Intel?

USB is a standard involving an industry consortium. Thunderbolt is owned by Intel.

ACTIONpack said,
Is USB and Thunderbolt both created by Intel?

Intel participated in the development of the original USB spec - and still does, but does not own it. Thunderbolt, on the other hand, is both created and owned by Intel.

Intel might have designed the actual Thunderbolt spec, but it is a combination of technologies that goes back to Apple and DisplayPort. Originally, Apple created mini DisplayPort, a very tiny connector that encompassed the DisplayPort signal. DisplayPort by itself encompasses PCI Express signal. So what Intel did, I guess is worked with Apple and created Thunderbolt, which is a connector type similar to mini DisplayPort that takes mini DisplayPort and makes it multipurpose - for data and other signals besides just monitor signal. Intel created, but it is all based on open technology, stuff other people designed. Thunderbolt happens to take on the function of DisplayPort, as well, completely replacing it, making DisplayPort redundant. It is like Thunderbolt is DisplayPort evolved to do everything DisplayPort did, plus more. You can even connect a DisplayPort monitor via Thunderbolt connector if your system supports it..

Edited by nullie, Aug 1 2013, 7:58pm :

Lord Method Man said,

That's what I thought. Mechanical hard drives are still barely able to fully utilize USB 2.0 speeds.

Huh? Since when are mechanical drives sub 30MB/s?

IgorP said,

Huh? Since when are mechanical drives sub 30MB/s?

I don't want to speak for someone else but I guess he's saying that in reference to the great difference between 480Mbps and 10Gbps.

Leopard Seal said,
I'd go ahead and buy your 3.0 drive. It could be over a year before this new standard is realized into supporting chip sets.

Exactly. Intel only released new chip-sets so it will be at the very least another generation before support is built-in in those.

I can see the amazingsauceness in a hard drive being powered by the USB port though!

Even the very fastest mechanical hard drives max out at about 150 MB/s, which means even a very fast external hard drive would only be capable of pulling down 1,200 megabits which is about 22% utilisation of the current 5GBPS limit. This will not affect external hard drives, and any external manufacturer claiming it does would be conning you

Previously known as USB 'SuperSpeed', the new specification will now be known as USB 3.1.

Actually 'SuperSpeed' refers to USB 3.0, while 'SuperSpeed+' refers to USB 3.1.

I've not seen much that's been able to break the 5GBPS limit yet so I feel this is more of a move to compete with Thunderbolt than one caused by performance restriction at the moment.

I have a dell touchscreen monitor that has a usb3 dock built in. the 1920x1080p display, touchscreen, 10/100 ethernet port , speakers, and 4 usb 2 ports all driven by 1 usb 3 cable.

If all usb2 ports were in use it would probably max out the usb 3 port.