The Differences Between USB 3.0 Vs. 3.2

USB has made it a lot easier for computer users to copy and paste data from one device to another. For this reason, these USB devices are available in different types based on their sizes and shapes along with specifications that help them to be differentiated on the basis of USB 3.0, 3.1, and also 3.2. We are going to highlight the differences in this discussion between USB 3.0 Vs. 3.2 as well as the USB 3.1 gen 2.

History of USB 3.0, 3.1, and 3.2

The USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF) stated in 2013 that the speed of USB 3.0 would be increased from 600MBps to 1,250MBps. Instead, they called the 600MBps USB 3.0 standard “USB 3.1 Gen 1” and the speedier 1,250MBps standard “USB 3.1 Gen 2.” This makes distinguishing between the previous encoding signal, known as “8B/10B,” and the new encoding signal, known as “128B/132B,” simple.

USB 3.0 is used for anything that uses the previous encoding standard. Even though the rates are decreased, any of the latest encoding standards are identified as USB 3.1. The transfer speeds are the only thing you need to be concerned about. Manufacturers with savvy marketing might use naming systems to trick you into thinking you’re receiving something you’re not.

Most gadgets currently connect via the USB standard. However, because there are multiple USB standards, you could be confused when choosing a USB cable or a product that uses this technology.

3.0 USB

The USB 3.0 provides transfer rate of 4.8 Gbps. The BUS is known as Super-Speed, and it allows for an actual transfer speed of 3.2 Gbps (400 MB/s). The USB 3.0 connections and ports feature more PINs than previous generations, and their blue color and “SS” marking make them clearly identifiable.

USB 3.1

In 2013, the USB 3.1 Super-Speed Plus specification was released. It comes in two versions: USB 3.1 Gen1 and USB 3.1 Gen2. The potential speed of USB 3.1 Gen1 is 5 Gbps, which is the same as version 3.0. The theoretical transmission speed of USB 3.1 Gen 2 is 10 Gbps, which is equivalent to 7.2 Gbps (900 MB/s).

To be clearer, the genuine USB 3.1 specification is the Gen2 standard. In reality, the Gen1 version is similar to the prior one. Simply put, USB Gen1 was a marketing option that allowed device and PC makers to rename their product ports to “USB Gen1” when they were actually USB 3.0 connections. 

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USB 3.2

In the year 2019, the USB 3.2 specification was released. It also allows for a possible 20 Gbps transmission speed. The Type-C connection is used by all USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 products; however, not all USB-C ports are USB 3.2 Gen 2×2. With the introduction of version 3.2, however, things get much more difficult, and confusion grows. 

The USB Implementers Forum consortium has come up with a clever way of grouping together different specifications that terminate in the same letter. 

  • USB 3.0 (maximum data transfer rate: 5 Gbps): SuperSpeed USB, USB 3.1, USB 3.1 Gen1, USB 3.2 Gen1 or USB 3.2 Gen 1 1.
  • USB 3.1 (maximum speed of 10 Gbps): USB 3.1 Gen2, USB 3.2 Gen 2, USB 3.2 Gen 2 1.
  • USB 3.2 Gen 2 (2 USB Connectors and Backwards Compatibility): USB 3.2 Gen 2 (max speed 20Gbps).


As previously stated, USB-C is the only form of connection that can support the new USB 3.2 Gen 22 standard. USB-A, B, and micro B, on the other hand, may all transport USB 3.2 Gen 2 and earlier versions. Despite the fact that USB-C is backward compatible, it was only recently incorporated into the hardware of modern computers and peripherals.

As a result, if your devices have USB-C and USB 3.2 Gen 2 I/O ports, you could be in luck. Even if the cable and connection you select are rated for a specific speed, the data’s sender and receiver must be able to send and receive at that same speed. The transfer speed is controlled by the point with the lowest rating. Only a few machines can handle USB-C at their maximum speed. USB 10Gbps cables and I/O connectors are still used by the majority of PCs and peripherals.


A difference between the common USB types has been shared in this guide, where we explained how the speed can vary for each of them and what else is important considering various USB port types. For additional help, take guidance from FAQ.


What are the functions of USB 3.2 ports? 

USB 3.2 enables the recording of high-bandwidth trace and debug data using an existing Type-C connection, normal USB cables, and PCs/laptops.

What makes USB-C unique? 

The newest iPhones and Android smartphones can charge at up to 18 W, and our tests indicate that a USB-C charger with a USB-C–to–Lightning connection can charge an iPhone XR from 0% to nearly 50% in about 30 minutes.

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