Become a MacRumors Supporter for $25/year with no ads, private forums, and more!


macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001

The USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF), this week announced a rebranding of the USB 3.0 and USB 3.1 specifications, under the USB 3.2 specification. As outlined by Tom's Hardware, USB 3.0 and USB 3.1 will now be considered previous generations of the USB 3.2 specification.

Going forward, USB 3.1 Gen 1 (transfer speeds up to 5Gb/s), which used to be USB 3.0 prior to a separate rebranding, will be called USB 3.2 Gen 1, while USB 3.1 Gen 2 (transfer speeds up to 10Gb/s) will now be known as USB 3.2 Gen 2.


What used to be considered USB 3.2 will now be USB 3.2 Gen 2x2 because if offers twice the throughput speeds of USB 3.1 Gen 2, now USB 3.2 Gen 2. If that sounds confusing to you, you're not alone. Tom's Hardware made this handy chart that shows the new branding scheme compared to the older branding.


If the swap between USB 3.1 Gen 1 and Gen 2 to USB 3.2 wasn't confusing enough, each of these specifications also has a marketing term. The new USB 3.2 Gen 1 with transfer speeds up to 5Gb/s is SuperSpeed USB, while USB 3.2 Gen 2 with transfer speeds up to 10Gb/s is known as SuperSpeed USB 10Gbps. The USB 3.2 Gen 2x2 specification with transfer speeds up to 20Gb/s is known as SuperSpeed USB 20Gbps.

Introduced in 2017, USB 3.2 (now USB 3.2 Gen 2x2) uses two 10Gb/s channels for a total data transfer rate of 20Gb/s, a feature limited to USB-C cables because USB-C cables support multi-lane operations.

USB 3.2 Gen 2x2 devices aren't out in the wild yet, and it's not yet clear when the first ones will arrive. Apple is often an early adopter of new USB technology and USB 3.2 Gen 2x2 could potentially be supported by the next-generation Macs.

Article Link: USB-IF Confusingly Merges USB 3.0 and USB 3.1 Under New USB 3.2 Branding


macrumors 65816
Aug 28, 2003
thunderbolt 3 is still thunderbolt right 3? seems like more reasons to just change over all the way and skip these iterations.
  • Like
Reactions: zzu


macrumors member
Feb 22, 2019
Can’t wait for USB 4.0 to see what new messes they come up with.

So, the standardization team continues to work towards destroying standardization. At what point will they be complicit in proporietary cables for all manufacturers. Can’t wait for my Apple USB-C that only works on Apple devices.
  • Like
Reactions: FriendlyMackle

Glassed Silver

macrumors 68020
Mar 10, 2007
Kassel, Germany
“Apple is often an early adopter of new USB technology” lol. This is the same company that for years wouldn’t update to USB3 so they could push the travesty that was early Thunderbolt.
Right on, feeling this handicap very much with my iMac mid-'11.

A pretty amazing machine, but lack of USB3 crippled it day one. That and lack of an SSD, but I fixed that later on on my own.

Thunderbolt 1 docks for USB3 had been too pricey when I still cared enough, nowadays I'm practically counting the days until I upgrade this machine anyways, so why bother.

8 years of Thunderbolt ports theoretically outperforming USB3 when in reality just ONE USB3 port would have served me infinitely more.

Glassed Silver:mac
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.