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Microsoft, Apple, and Co Announce USB 3.2 Specification That Doubles Speed of Current Type-C Cables

The USB Promoter Group has revealed USB 3.2, which uses a multi-lane operation to significantly increase speeds for existing USB Type-C cables.


Upcoming USB 3.2 devices will be able to function and boost performance with existing USB Type-C cables. The new specification was announced by the USB 3.0 Promoter Group and provides a small update to the USB 3.2 spec.

Specifically, USB 3.2 creates a new multi-lane operation on capable devices, allowing them to work with any existing Type-C cable. Previous iterations have been single lane from hosts to devices. This limited performance and compatibility.

The Promoter Group, which comprises tech giants such as , , and HP, says the new specification uses a multi-lane approach to allow vastly improved performance. Indeed, it can work through two lanes, one of 5Gb per second and the other of 10Gb per second. This, importantly, means double the operational performance of USB 3.1.

Charging devices and transferring data will now be quicker, just over 2GB data-transfer per second in fact. Of course, while any Type-C connector works with the new spec, to achieve these speeds, you will need a cable capable of SuperSpeed USB 10Gb per second transfer.

USB 3.0 Promoter Group Chairman Brad Saunders discussed the benefits of USB 3.2:

“When we introduced USB Type-C to the market, we intended to assure that USB Type-C cables and connectors certified for SuperSpeed USB or SuperSpeed USB 10 Gbps would, as produced, support higher performance USB as newer generations of USB 3.0 were developed. The USB 3.2 update delivers the next level of performance.”

Further performance enhancements are achieved through USB 3.2. While incremental, the new specification allows greater performance through hub spec changes.

The Promoter Group says the specification is currently in final draft and will be published by September.

USB Type-C

USB Type-C was a major step forward in terms of inter-device hard connectivity. It provided an easier way to connect chargers and peripherals as it is bi-directorial. Apple had already shown a similar component with its Lightning Connector for iOS devices.

Without needing to ensure the cable is oriented the right way, consumers see USB Type-C as a desirable feature on a device. Even Apple, the developer of Thunderbolt and Lightning has gotten on board with USB Type-C and USB 3.0.

Cupertino has been shipping USB 3.0 on its Mc products since 2012 by switching compatibility of Thunderbolt to the Type-C standard. There are also reports that the company could ditch Lightning in favor of USB on its upcoming 8.

Luke Jones
Luke Jones
Luke has been writing about all things tech for more than five years. He is following Microsoft closely to bring you the latest news about Windows, Office, Azure, Skype, HoloLens and all the rest of their products.

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