While USB hosts and devices were originally designed as single-lane solutions, USB Type-C cables were designed to support multi-lane operation to ensure a path for scalable performance. New USB 3.2 hosts and devices can now be designed as multi-lane solutions, allowing for up to two lanes of 5 Gbps or two lanes of 10 Gbps operation. This enables platform developers to continue advancing USB products to fit their customers’ needs by effectively doubling the performance across existing cables. For example, a USB 3.2 host connected to a USB 3.2 storage device will now be capable of realizing over 2 GB/sec data transfer performance over an existing USB Type-C cable that is certified for SuperSpeed USB 10 Gbps.
“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,” said Brad Saunders, USB 3.0 Promoter Group Chairman. “The USB 3.2 update delivers the next level of performance.”
“With increased performance and seamless compatibility, the new USB 3.2 specification brings even more speed and bandwidth benefits to new USB 3.2 devices, while remaining compatible with USB 3.0 and earlier devices,” said Roanne Sones, General Manager, Strategy and Ecosystem for Windows and Devices, Microsoft. “We’re excited to work with our partners in the USB 3.0 Promoter Group to help showcase these benefits to users around the world.”
Key characteristics of the USB 3.2 solution include:
● Two-lane operation using existing USB Type-C cables
● Continued use of existing SuperSpeed USB physical layer data rates and encoding techniques
● Minor update to hub specification to address increased performance and assure seamless transitions between single and two-lane operation
To take advantage of these performance increases, a new USB 3.2 host and device must be used with an appropriate certified USB Type-C cable.
The USB 3.2 specification is now in a final draft review phase with a planned formal release in time for the USB Developer Days North America event in September 2017.