USB 3.2 will double data transfer speeds of new computers

USB-C ports shown on a MacBook Pro computer.
Image: Tony Avelar/Epa/REX/Shutterstock

Your next computer will probably have wickedly fast data transfer speeds but your current computer, even if it’s brand new, will likely be left in the dust.

The USB 3.0 Promoter Group the collective that develops the universal port used in almost every popular computer announced today a new incremental update called USB 3.2 that will make double the data transfer speeds via USB-C ports.

The new standard which still uses USB-C connectors you’ve probably seen in phones and laptops takes advantage of something called “multi-lane solutions,” allowing two lanes of 5 Gbps or 10 Gbps data transfer speeds. This will effectively double the speed of existing cables, but not existing ports.

So, if you just bought a brand new computer with USB-C port, like, for example, the 2016 MacBook Pro that I’m using to write this article, you’re pretty much screwed.

Older computers with USB-C will require a hardware upgrade (from USB 3.0 to USB 3.2) to take advantage of the new transfer speeds. The only real upside is that most existing USB-C cables will work with the new standard.

So, if you just bought an expensive new computer (like me), you can breathe easy for a few more months. The new USB 3.2 standard isn’t finalized yet and won’t be released until later this year.

We’ll likely learn more about the new USB 3.2 standard in late August during the USB Developer Days. Until then, enjoy your cutting-edge laptop because its ports will soon be out-of-date.

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