It looks like the humble USB port is all set to get an upgrade. The USB 3.0 Promoter Group has announced that it has completed work on USB 3.1 Specification. The next generation iteration of the connectivity standard will feature enhancements to enable SuperSpeed USB to offer transfer speeds of up to 10 Gbps.
In a press statement, the group said, “SuperSpeed USB 10 Gbps uses a more efficient data encoding and will deliver more than twice the effective data through-put performance of existing SuperSpeed USB over enhanced, fully backward compatible USB connectors and cables. Compatibility is assured with existing USB 3.0 software stacks and device class protocols as well as with existing 5Gbps hubs and devices and USB 2.0 products.”
It’s worth pointing out that USB 3.0 can offer transfer speeds of up to 5Gbps. Just like the USB 3.0 standard, the USB 3.1 SuperSpeed standard will be backwards-compatible with devices based on USB 2.0.
“The USB 3.1 specification primarily extends existing USB 3.0 protocol and hub operation for speed scaling along with defining the next higher physical layer speed as 10 Gbps,” said Brad Saunders, Chairman of USB 3.0 Promoter Group.
“The specification team worked hard to make sure that the changes made to support higher speeds were limited and remained consistent with existing USB 3.0 architecture to ease product development.”
Following the announcement, chip makers like Intel can now start work on chips that support the new USB 3.1 specification.
“The industry has affirmed the strong demand for higher through-put, for user-connected peripherals and docks, by coming together to produce a quality SuperSpeed USB 10 Gbps specification,” said Alex Peleg, Vice President, Intel Architecture Group. “Intel is fully committed to deliver on this request.”
After the start of chipset production, OEMs will also be able to offer USB 3.1 connectivity with their devices.
“We recognize this advancement in USB technology is an important development for our customers,” said Tom Bonola, Chief Technology Officer, Business PC Solutions, HP. “The USB 3.1 Specification enables us to meet the growing needs of our customers for faster data transfer while maintaining backwards compatibility with existing devices.”
The first devices with USB 3.1 standard are expected to be available in late 2014.