The USB 3.0 Promoter Group announced yesterday that the specification for USB 3.1 has been completed and is available for download by device manufacturers. While USB 3.1 is no surprise, having been announced earlier this year, the publication of the spec opens the door for manufacturers to begin making and selling devices that comply with the fast interconnection standard.
USB 3.1, aka SuperSpeed USB 10 Gbps, remains backwards compatible with USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 devices, but adds higher speeds to the USB architecture. With a 10 Gbps top throughput, the new standard matches the initial Thunderbolt data rate while being much less expensive to implement.
Of course, Thunderbolt 2 -- offering 20 Gbps to more than just one device at a time -- is waiting in the wings and has been announced as the new standard I/O architecture for the upcoming Mac Pro. But Thunderbolt 2 will most likely remain a standard for video and design professionals who need and can afford the pricey equipment, while USB 3.1 will move into the mainstream like its slower predecessors.
The full press release from the USB 3.0 Promoter Group is embedded below.
USB 3.0 Promoter Group announced availability of the USB 3.1 Specification to increase
SuperSpeed USB to 10 Gbps
HILLSBORO, Ore. – July 31, 2013 – The USB 3.0 Promoter Group today announced the
completion of the USB 3.1 Specification which adds enhancements to enable SuperSpeed
USB to operate at up to 10 Gbps. This latest release of the specification will be available
today for download from the USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF) website.
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 5
Gbps hubs and devices and USB 2.0 products.
Developers interested in implementing the new USB 3.1 Specification have the opportunity
to learn technical details during three developer conferences currently being planned. The
international conferences planned in Europe and Asia will offer more advanced system
design training as breakout sessions on the second day. For more details and conference
registration instructions, please visit the USB-IF website.
1. USB 3.1 Developers Day US – August 21, 2013 in Hillsboro, Ore.
2. USB 3.1 Developers Days Europe – October 1-2, 2013 in Dublin, Ireland
3. USB 3.1 Developers Days Asia – Two day conference scheduled for early December
2013, more details to follow
"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, USB 3.0 Promoter Group Chairman. "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."
"We recognize this advancement in USB technology is an important development forour
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 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."
"While maintaining backward compatibility, USB continues to advance to meet customer's
growing need for higher speed data" said Roland Sperlich, TI Consumer and Computing
Interface Product Line Manager. "The 10 Gbps data rate allows designers across many
industries to do more with a universal standard."
"In this multi-device world, the USB 3.1 updates will enable end-users to move content
across devices quickly, conveniently and without worrying about compatibility," said Emile
Ianni, Corporate Vice President of Platform Solutions Engineering, AMD. "AMD thanks our
engineers as well as the other technology contributors for bringing to market robust
innovation that is designed to work seamlessly with new and existing solutions."
About the USB 3.0 Promoter Group
The USB 3.0 Promoter Group, comprised of Hewlett-Packard Company, Intel Corporation,
Microsoft Corporation, Renesas Electronics, ST-Ericsson and Texas Instruments, developed
the USB 3.0 Specification that was released in November 2008. In addition to maintaining
and enhancing this specification, the USB 3.0 Promoter Group develops specification
addendums to extend or adapt its specifications to support more platform types or use
cases where adopting USB 3.0 technology will be beneficial in delivering a more ubiquitous,
richer user experience.
About the USB-IF
The non-profit USB Implementers Forum, Inc. was formed to provide a support organization
and forum for the advancement and adoption of USB technology. The USB-IF facilitates the
development of high-quality compatible USB devices through its logo and compliance
program, and promotes the benefits of USB and the quality of products that have passed
compliance testing. Further information, including postings of the most recent product and
technology announcements, is available by visiting the USB-IF website at www.usb.org.