Snippet: USB Naming Got Really Bad ☇

Shared on February 26, 2019

Zhiye Liu for Tom’s Hardware (via John Gruber):

Remember when the USB 3.0 standard was eventually rebranded to USB 3.1 Gen 1? Well, history is about to repeat itself once again. The USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF) announced at MWC 2019 that the new USB 3.2 standard will absorb the prior USB 3.0 and USB 3.1 specifications.

Both USB 3.0 and USB 3.1 are to be considered generations of the USB 3.2 specification. USB 3.1 Gen 1 (formerly known as USB 3.0), which offers speeds up to 5 Gbps, will be rebranded into USB 3.2 Gen 1 while USB 3.1 Gen 2, which supports communication rates up to 10 Gbps, will be called USB 3.2 Gen 2 moving forward. Since USB 3.2 has double the throughput (20 Gbps) of USB 3.1 Gen 2, the updated standard has been designated as USB 3.2 Gen 2 × 2.

Everything about this is even more confusing and user-hostile than prior generations. USB 2.0 was faster than 1.x, 3.0 was faster than 2.0—it made sense. It might make better sense from a technical standpoint, but if it’s hell for even technically-inclined people to grasp, the USB-IF is doing it wrong.

There’s a lot of calls for iPhones to move to a USB-C connector this year, but I think Lightning should stick around out of spite. It may not be as capable and future-proof, but at least I can explain it to anyone.

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