USB was the innovative concept back then in the mid-nineties. It revolutionized the idea of hot-swappable connected devices over a serial bus. Ever since it was launched, it has become the consistent part of connecting the peripherals to your computer or laptops. They have ably replaced all the other interfaces of connectivity options active so far – serial ports, parallel ports and other charging connectors. Practically, there are no devices and electronic equipment you would find without a USB interface. The connectivity technology has recently come up with a new standard, and that is precisely what we will be discussing in today’s post – What is USB 3.2?
USB Connectivity – Digging Through The History
USB or Universal Serial Bus is the technology that is used to connect two electronic devices. It was developed in the 90’s and made a massive change to how computers and connectors connected with each other. In fact, it also removed the term incompatibility from the peripheral devices.
The first USB connectivity came up in 1996 with the USB 1.0. It offered speeds of around 1.5 Mbit per second. Of course, it looks strange as things stand as of now. The USB 2.0 standard came up in 2000, and it escalated the transfer speeds to 480 Mbit per second. This was significant indeed when you consider the fact that the hard drives are connected using USB 2.0.
The next development was introduced in 2008 with the launch of USB 3.0. The data transfer speeds were taken to an upper level of up to 5 Gbps. However, the connectors do come with backward compatibility with USB 2.0. The latest that you may have today on your devices is possibly USB 3.1 that has the transfer speeds as high as 10 Gbps. In fact, that is the rated capacity, and the actual data transfer should depend upon the size of your peripheral device (We do not think many devices as of now do not come with that performance). They are also able to provide around 100 W of power (delivery), and that probably explains how they can be used to charge laptops as well.
What is USB 3.2? – The New Standard Makes an Entry
USB 3.2 is the new standard that makes entry and marks the latest update to the world’s most widely used and popular connectivity standard. The announcement made through the developers’ forum suggested a bump in transfer speeds and expected to be upgraded to two times the current rate.
So, which new things does it bring in? Well, any update in the USB or connectivity technology is set to change the transfer speeds of the data, and that is precisely what you would expect with USB 3.2. The current standard in USB technology has been designed to use two pairs of wires while keeping the other two idle. USB 3.2 will change it for better. It will either use a transfer rate at 10 GB per second per lane or opt for a transfer speed of 5 GB per second per lane if using four lanes.
There are two high-speed channels vs one in USB 3.1, a certified USB 3.1 cable can carry Display Port, high-speed Thunderbolt, MHL, or even HDMI signals over ‘alternate modes’ in the serial interface.
When Can We Find being Released?
The technology was finalized just a year ago. We can soon expect the consumer equipment to come up with the USB 3.2 compliance. We may not be able to specify the exact changes any time soon, as the technology needs to stabilize as well.
In fact, the technology involved is not something major except for the speed boost though. In other aspects, it is just a minor upgrade. That would probably explain the upgrade number being upgraded by only 0.1. That would not undermine the importance of the update though. The time needed for the devices with the new technology may not become any time soon. Several considerations may go into it. Some factors may include marketing trends, manufacturing schedules, and the possible profit considerations.
Another positive aspect we would consider as of now is you may not need to upgrade your cables anytime soon. If your phone or laptop comes with USB 3.2, that should necessarily mean you would need to change your cables as of now.
Well, you need not jump into the USB –C bandwagon as of now. The older cables would continue to work with the newer systems. You can expect the micro USB technology to be supported for quite a long time to come.
The technology is backward compliant. That would mean, if you have the cables with USB 3.0 or 3.1, they will continue to work with your devices with the new technology. Moreover, the existing wires themselves would be able to offer better speeds when used with the equipment with the USB 3.2 technology.
The Roadmap Ahead
Will the new technology change the way we have been able to connect our devices? Well, theoretically speaking, yes. It is set to change the way we have been charging our smartphones, laptops and other devices. However, the practical considerations may vary a lot.
It can be something comparable to what was promised with USB type C connectivity. We were conditioned to believe that it will change the way we see connectivity. But, the reality was entirely different. It was introduced with the aim of universal compatibility but has been obe=served to be lying far behind from that point of view. Several manufacturers are claiming faster speeds, but only a few follow the official specification requirements.
We would expect the same with USB 3.2 as well. Until the devices claiming to offer them are officially certified, we do not think it should be able to make any difference as such.
In essence, USB 3.2 may not be a vast improvement except regarding faster data speeds or throughput. Unless you are considering it for large amounts of data transfers, we do not think there would be any practical utilization of the concept.
Anyhow, what’s the harm in staying ready for the future? Being futureproof is the key to a successful adaptation to newer technology, and we would like to apply the same logic to USB 3.2 as well.