USB 3.2 is a standard for compatible ports and connectors, which defines how a connection between them would work. The USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF) announced this specification back in 2017. The second upgrade of the third major iteration (originally known as USB 3.0) in the Universal Serial Bus (USB) family.
This standard brings a significant improvement in transfer speed, which is technically double that of USB 3.1 Gen 2. Additionally, it also introduced a change in the naming scheme of the USB 3.0 lineup.
Post its announcement, USB 3.0 became USB 3.2 Gen 1, USB 3.1 became USB 3.2 Gen 2, and USB 3.2 itself took on the moniker USB 3.2 Gen 2×2. Notably, a similar renaming happened when USB 3.1 launched as well.
USB 3.2 types
USB 3.2 Gen 1
It is a specification that offers up to 5Gbps transfer speed, and hence, carries the “SuperSpeed USB” nickname. It is compatible with USB-A, USB-B, micro B, and USB-C connectors. The inaugural launch of the third-generation USB series was initially called the “USB 3.0” standard. Then, it became “USB 3.1 Gen 1” after the USB 3.1 standard came out.
USB 3.2 Gen 2
This version provides you with a transfer speed reaching 10Gbps. USB-A, USB-B, micro B, and USB-C constitute its group of compatible connectors. Moreover, USB-IF recommends the alias “SuperSpeed USB 10Gbps” for this standard. Before USB 3.2 rolled out, it was known as USB 3.1 Gen 2.
USB 3.2 Gen 2×2
This is a dual-lane specification, meaning that it is equivalent to the performance offered by Gen 2 twice over. Therefore, it gives you a transfer rate of 20Gbps (10Gbps+10Gbps). It is also marketed using the term “SuperSpeed USB 20Gbps.”
Moreover, all the USB mentioned above 3.2 types are backward compatible with USB 3.1, USB 3.0, and USB 2.0. Essentially, this means that a connector/port designed for any of these previous iterations will work with another connector/port meant for USB 3.2.
If you want to know how USB-C, which widely works on the latest third-gen specification, stacks up against the lightning port, read this. To learn more about tech terms and trends, you can check out our Short Bytes section.