The supervising group wants to make it easier for you to understand what different cables and ports can actually do. It tries to ditch the branding and tries to simplify things, but manufacturers don’t necessarily embrace the changes.
The steps are part of a larger effort by the USB Implementers Forum () to rename USB standards. The group introduced new logos for cables, ports and packaging last year. The updated brand aims to help people understand what the standards are capable of in terms of data transfer speeds and performance, as well as charging speeds, said the president and chief operating officer of ‘USB-IF, Jeff Ravencraft. .
SuperSpeed (also known as USB 3) already exists. You may have seen it on USB cable cases. In the future, USB-IF wants cable manufacturers to use “USB 10 Gbps” instead of “SuperSpeed USB 10 Gbps” and “USB 20 Gbps” instead of “USB4 20 Gbps”. Meanwhile, USB-C cables certified by the USB-IF will need to list both data transfer speeds and charging power.
The changes recently went into effect and the updated branding could start appearing on labels and packaging by the end of the year. The brand guidelines apply to products with any type of USB port except USB 1.0, which you won’t see much these days anyway, and USB 2.0 (aka USB Hi -Speed). The USB-IF believes that in the latter case, using “USB 480Mbps” may confuse those who might see this on the packaging and believe it is faster than USB 5Gbps, simply because of the greater number.
Rebranding requirements only apply to USB-IF certified devices and cables. But, since USB is an open standard (unlike, say, Thunderbolt 4), there’s really nothing stopping manufacturers from using the SuperSpeed brand and USB4 if they really want to, because The edge Remarks. As such, it remains to be seen how well these metrics will actually shed some light for people who just need a cable for their device.
Knowing which cable you need is complicated enough. Thunderbolt 3 and Thunderbolt 4 connectors and ports look exactly like USB-C, for example. The updated guidelines won’t help you much in understanding whether a cable supports DisplayPort or a certain fast-charging standard either.
On the surface, at least, these seem like positive steps to reduce confusion and get rid of unnecessary verbiage. Still, it’s unclear whether dropping the SuperSpeed moniker, which was arguably less used than USB 3 anyway, will actually help clear things up for most users. That might not matter much anyway given the increasingly widespread adoption of USB-C as a more universal standard – which is the whole point of USB in first place.
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