Improvements in USB 3.0

USB, stands for Universal Serial Bus, was designed to standardize the method peripherals are integrated with PCs. It enables communication as well as carrier power. It has largely replaced interfaces such as parallel ports and serial ports.

The USB standard started with USB 1.0 and now are at USB 3.2. We can notice exponential increase the bandwidth that each new variant can support. The most popular standards in USB are the USB 2.0 and the USB 3.0. The USB 2.0 supports a bandwidth of 480Mbps whereas USB 3.0 supports a bandwidth of 5Gbps.

As we had discussed in our previous articles, USB 3.0 is an improvement to the USB 2.0 standard that is well established in the market. USB 3.0 supports asynchronous 2 way simultaneous data transfer enabling the higher bandwidth. Apart from this, it also allows higher power of 900mA.

The USB 3.0 standards also has some improvement done over it to improve its capabilities. We come across a standard known as USB 3.1 Gen 1. It very much similar to USB 3.0 in spite of the different name. It supports the same power and same bandwidth. The same connector used for USB 3.0 works for USB 3.1 Gen 1.

However, the USB 3.1 is characterized by the use of the latest Type C connector. USB Type C connector is a greater improvement when compared to its predecessors. The type C connectors is designed to scale to handle more number of wires and is designed to be more rugged. The type C connector can handle up to 10,000 cycles of usage. To add to that this connector can scale to transfer of power up to 5000mA at 20V.

Unlike USB 3.1 Gen 1, the USB 3.1 Gen 2 comes up more noticeable improvements. The Type C connector, as mentioned above, scales up to the requirement of this standard. The bandwidth that can be supported with this standard is 10 Gbps. Even though this offices improvements, the devices and cables that support this standard is not yet commonly available.

Apart from the above, another improvement that is in the very early stage is the USB 3.1 Gen 2x2. The scalability of the Type C connector accommodates this improvement as well. This generation support even higher bandwidth of 20 Gbps.

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Savesh Rajagopal

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