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USB 3.1 10Gbps specification finalized, moves to implementation

updated 10:26 am EDT, Thu August 1, 2013

High-speed transfer standard completed by USB 3.0 Promoter Group

The USB 3.0 Promoter Group has finalized the specification of USB 3.1, also known as SuperSpeed USB. The new specification standard will allow for USB data transfers at a rate of up to 10Gbps, effectively doubling the data rate of USB 3.0, but still retaining backwards compatibility with devices using USB 3.0 and earlier standards.

The standard has remained relatively unchanged since it was shown by the group in January, with USB 3.1 having not only a higher data rate, but also improved data encoding and an improved I/O power efficiency. USB 3.0 Promoter Group chairman Brad Saunders said "The specification team worked hard to make sure that changes made to support higher speeds were limited and remained consistent with existing USB 3.0 architecture to ease product development."

Three developer conferences, designed to help interested parties implement the new USB 3.1 specification, will be held later this year. The US version will be held on August 21st, with the European Developer Days set as October 1st and 2nd in Ireland, while the Asia conference will be held on two days in early December.

While the development of the USB 3.1 standard has completed, work is still going on for other competing connection methods. Intel is working on a successor to Thunderbolt, titled Thunderbolt 2, with the first devices using the 20Gbps standard set to go on sale early next year.

By Electronista Staff


  1. exca1ibur

    Mac Elite

    Joined: 10-06-00

    So, double the speed and yet they label it as USB 3.1 not USB 4.0?... um okay

  1. nowwhatareyoulookingat

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 07-13-09

    Why not USB 6!

  1. LenE

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 05-19-04

    USB has never really been fully baked. It kind of works OK, but has never really been as good as FireWire was, or Thunderbolt seems to be. Perhaps the 3.1 designation is for the comfort of old-time Windows folks.

    The USB 3.0 ports are the flakiest thing on my MBPr. Some USB 2.0 devices aren't even acknowledged when they are plugged in.

  1. shawnde

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 04-01-08


    Totally agree .... lots of promises, but nothing to deliver. It's all theoretical specs and maximum speeds under ideal conditions, which do not exist. USB was meant as a mouse/keyboard interconnect, and it should be relegated to that .... for storage, Thunderbolt if far better, as was FireWire.

  1. Charles Martin

    MacNN Editor

    Joined: 08-04-01

    Great news for more speed, but still only half of the original TB spec, not as versatile, and while I applaud the backward compatibility angle you now have to run out and buy all-new equipment to take advantage of this, after having JUST upgraded to USB 3 (for most people). Give it a few years and it will do fine, but where will TB be by then?

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