Webopedia on Google+Webopedia on TwitterWebopedia on FacebookTech Bytes Blog
Main » TERM » U »

USB 3.1

USB 3.1 is an upgrade to the USB 3.0 standard (also known as SuperSpeed USB) that boosts maximum theoretical data transfer speeds from 5Gbps (Gigabits per second) in USB 3.0 to 10Gbps in USB 3.1.

There are actually two distinct USB 3.1 specifications at this time. USB 3.1 Generation 1 was an initial upgrade to USB 3.0, but it is limited to 5Gbps data transfer speeds, while the newer USB 3.1 Generation 2 is the spec that boosts data transfer speeds to the theoretical 10Gbps.

USB 3.1 Gen 1 and Gen 2 vs. USB-C

Both USB 3.1 Gen 1 and USB 3.1 Gen 2 are increasingly being implemented along with USB Type-C (USB-C) ports in newer models of smartphones, tablets and laptops. The USB Type-C standard applies only to the physical plug connection, though, and the USB 3.1 data transfer and power standard can be used on existing USB Type-A and USB Type-B plugs as well as the newer USB-C plugs.

As with USB 3.0, USB 3.1 ports and cables offer backward-compatibility with previous USB standards, including USB 2.0 and USB 3.0. USB 3.1 also shares USB 3.0's support of the USB Power Delivery specification, enabling USB 3.1 cables and ports to charge and power devices at a maximum of 20 volts at 5 amps for a total of 100 watts of power.

USB 3.1 Development and Availability

The USB Implementers Forum, a consortium of companies that includes Intel, Microsoft, Apple and HP, is responsible for the development of the USB 3.1 standard, and the forum first released the standard in 2013 as USB 3.1 Gen 1.

USB 3.1 Gen 1 and USB 3.1 Gen 2-supported devices didn't start appearing until 2015, with the 2015 release of Apple's MacBook. Widespread adoption by hardware manufacturers, especially for USB 3.1 Gen 2, is expected to continue to pick up in 2016 and beyond.

Note: USB 3.1 cables and ports are also sometimes referred to as SuperSpeed+ or SuperSpeed USB 10 Gbit/s in product literature.

See also USB, USB 2.0 and USB 3.0.







TECH RESOURCES FROM OUR PARTNERS
LATEST ARTICLES
Slideshow: 5 Hot Holiday Gifts for Tech Enthusiasts

From cute electronic toys to VR gaming, here are 5 hot gifts to give to your special tech enthusiast this holiday season. Read More »

What's Hot in Tech: AI Tops the List

Like everything in technology, AI touches on so many other trends, like self-driving cars and automation, and Big Data and the Internet of Things... Read More »

DevOp's Role in Application Security

As organizations rush to release new applications, security appears to be getting short shrift. DevSecOps is a new approach that holds promise. Read More »

STUDY GUIDES
Java Basics, Part 1

Java is a high-level programming language. This guide describes the basics of Java, providing an overview of syntax, variables, data types and... Read More »

Java Basics, Part 2

This second Study Guide describes the basics of Java, providing an overview of operators, modifiers and control Structures. Read More »

The 7 Layers of the OSI Model

The Open System Interconnection (OSI) model defines a networking framework to implement protocols in seven layers. Use this handy guide to compare... Read More »