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OPLIN 4Cast # 556: There’s a new USB standard, but don’t buy all new stuff…yet

Posted in 4cast, and USB

Those new USB-C cables you might have bought? You know, the ones for your tablets, phones, Bluetooth speakers and probably a large number of other gadgets?  Take a deep breath and relax: even though a new USB standard is going to be confirmed next month, it will be some time before devices support the new standard…and your USB-C cables will still work. In fact, the good news is that even older, non-compatible devices will still be able to benefit, some, from the new, faster standard.

  • What the Coming USB 3.2 Standard Means for You [Gizmodo] “USB 3.2 is (as the name suggests) the next step up from USB 3.1, though it won’t be appearing in your local Best Buy any time soon—it’s only just been announced by the USB-IF, and its headline feature is its support for what’s called multi-lane operation, where two lanes of 5 Gbps or 10 Gbps can run together in tandem by utilizing extra wires inside USB cables. The theoretical maximum transfer rate therefore gets bumped up to 20 Gbps.”
  • USB 3.2 is the latest USB-C specification, because there weren’t enough already [The Verge] “Of course, in order to take advantage of USB 3.2, you’ll need devices that support it. That said, assuming the host and recipient devices are compatible with USB 3.2, even older USB 3.0 cables will see faster speeds of up to 2Gbps. So, assuming manufacturers support it, you should still see some advantages from the new spec, even if you’re not ready to upgrade all your stuff.”
  • USB 3.2 doubles your connection speeds with the same port [Engadget] “Your future computer or phone will be capable of stupidly fast transfer speeds. The USB 3.0 Promoter Group unveiled the USB 3.2 specification that effectively doubles the current USB 3.1 spec by adding an extra lane. As such, it will allow for two lanes of 5 Gbps for USB 3.0, yielding 10 Gbps, or two lanes of 10 Gbps for 20 Gbps with USB 3.1. As a bonus, the “‘superspeed’ USB-C cable you’re currently using already has the capability for dual-lane operation built in.”
  • USB 3.2 will make your cables twice as fast… once you’ve bought new devices [Ars Technica] “The only small inconvenience is that to use these new speeds, you’ll need brand new devices at each end of the cable. But if you’ve managed to find some Type-C cables that actually properly comply with the specification—something that’s harder than it should be—you can rest assured that they’ll continue to work with the new spec, without holding back the performance of your devices.”

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