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USB 3.1: With 10 Gbit/s against Thunderbolt

USB 3.1: Specifications published.

Universal Serial Bus (USB), is the long known connectivity standard and so ubiquitous in many sectors that the people have long stopped to care about the derivation of the USB acronym but with the increasing integration of the Thunderbolt interface, USB had to improve and finally, here it is – USB 3.1, the next version of the Universal Serial Bus (USB) with a maximum connection speed of 10 Gbps.

In addition, the Thunderbolt interface even forces the known HDMI standard for high-definition video signals (and Audio / ARC etc.) to improve its speed and HDMI will soon also be released as a new version of this connectivity standard.

The new upgrade of the known Universal Serial Bus (USB) connectivity interface comes in the form of a .1 release and the new USB 3.1 version is also backwards compatible to USB 3.0 and USB 2.0, although the USB 3.1 Bus will then not be able to reach its maximum transfer speed of 10 Gbit/s.

The older standards of USB 3.1, and thus, USB 2.0 as well as USB 3.0 will work fine with the new version of the Universal Serial Bus (USB) connectivity interface. There will be no compatibility problems between these different versions of the Universal Serial Bus (USB) – as mentioned, only the transfer speed will differ.

In contrast to USB 3.0, the new USB 3.1 standard enables data transfer rates of up to ten gigabytes per second, and thus, theoretically double the speed of its predecessor.

The new version of USB 3.1 was already suggested in January 2013 and so it is no real surprise, not even for Intel or Apple, that the new version of the Universal Serial Bus (USB) connectivity interface has been finally presented now.

However, the Thunderbolt interface is still faster than the new USB 3.1 connectivity interface (Bus), but USB is more wide spread in the relevant sectors. Thunderbolt is increasing its amount of products where this interface is used, but USB is well known, long here, and has more backers / supporters behind it.

Not to mention that Thunderbolt 2 will be here soon, too. According to the promotion around Thunderbolt 2, the Thunderbolt 2 interfaces are said to feature a channel aggregation whereby two previously separate 10 Gbit/s channels can be combined into a single logical 20 Gbit/s channel. Thunderbolt 2 will begin shipping at the end of this year and as the interface standard in an updated Apple Mac Pro, of course.

USB 3.1: With 10 Gbit/s against Thunderbolt

Of course, also new cables and connectors are required to reach the maximum transfer speed of the new USB 3.1 interface, but this should be less a problem for the most users. In addition, it will still last a bit till the first (hardware) products such as mainboards will feature an USB 3.1 port. The first devices with the new USB 3.1 ports are expected to be available on the markets at the end of 2014.

The new specifications of USB 3.1 can be downloaded as a 40 megabytes large document on the website of the Promotion Group behind the USB interface. However, the server is currently hopeless overloaded.

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