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It seems as if USB 3 came to market very recently and now people are talking about USB 3.1. At first glance, USB 3.1 seems like a minor upgrade to high performance USB 3. In reality, USB 3.1 is a major improvement to USB 3 standards by increasing data transfer speed support for high resolution video and increased amperage.
Here are some facts about USB 3.1
- USB 3.1 use a new connection mode dubbed SuperSpeed +. USB 3.1 devices are capable of transfering data up to 10 Gbits/sec. This is almost twice as fast as USB 3.
- USB 3.1 use a new connector know as Type-C. The connector is reversible, which means no more fumbling to get the cable inside the connector. This connector will soon replace all the USB and Micro USB connectors in the future.
- USB 3.1 can carry up to 100W of power in both directions. This is a major increase from the 10W carried by USB 3. In future, you can charge your laptop from a USB 3.1 jack. Increased power also means faster charging of smartphones, tablets and other devices. Carrying power in both directions also allow for connecting to other peripherals and transmitting data while the system is still charging up.
- USB 3.1 will now provide native support for video. This means a USB cable can be used to connect a device and a compatible monitor. For e.g. you can use a USB cable to connect a laptop, smartphone or similar devices to a monitor. USB 3.1 have enough bandwidth that it can support the most demanding of monitors. The connector is smaller than previous versions, so it is easier to be used with smaller and slimmer devices.
- USB 3.1 does have competition from Intel’s Thunderbolt. Thunderbolt 2 is capable of data transfer rates up to 20 Gbps which is twice as fast as USB 3.1. Implementing Thunderbolt is costly. But USB devices are cheaper to manufacture and it got a large base selection of accessories and peripherals. USB is also capable of charging devices like smartphones, tablets and other devices. Already, lot of computer manufacturers have openly voiced their support for USB than Thunderbolt. So, USB is here to stay.
- USB 3.1 specification was already approved in July 2013. The only delay is from manufacturers adapting the new technology on a massive scale. USB 3.1 devices are scheduled to reach market by end of 2014. 2015 will be the year of USB 3.1 devices.
If you want to add anything more to the list, use the comment section.