USB 3.1 Spec Details: Transfer Speeds Up to 10 Gbps, Backwards compatible

usb 3.1 10 gbps

Intel’s Thunderbolt port has competition. The USB 3.0 Promoter Group revealed that the new SuperSpeed USB transfer rate will be raised to 10 Gbps thanks to a new USB 3.1 spec.

Currently USB 3.0 supports speeds up to 5 Gbps and the new spec would effectively double the speed. So does this compete well with Thunderbolt technology? Well, not really, since it’s capable of speeds up to 20 Gbps.

The great news is that the USB 3.1 spec is backwards compatible which means all your old speed USB drives will work with it. However, the new spec needs to be built by the hardware manufacturers and can’t be enabled via an update.

The USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt adoption seems to be low but new PCs come with USB 3.0 spec as default whereas the Thunderbolt adoption has been really slow.

“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,”Brad Saunders, USB 3.0 Promoter Group Chairman revealed.

“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.”

Will this make a big difference in games when it comes to loading from portable USB drives? It’s hard to say at this stage.

Tell us what you think in the comments section below.