Tuesday, May 17, 2016

USB 3.1 The Future, But Slowly


So, Was Samsung right in selecting that old Micro USB 2.0 interface for their latest flagship S7 phone?

In many annoying ways yes :-(   Though I am still reluctant to buy any 2016 Smartphone without Type C USB 3.1 interface. In the last 60 days Marcus conducted more USB 3.1 research and the first practical USB 31 testing.

Why USB 3.1?

- Speeds upto 10 Gbps which is over 1GByte/second and fast enough for any disk interface in the current timeframe
- Reversible Type C connector, a joy to use
- Spare pins to allow incorporating other bus standards, principally Thunderbolt, inside the Interface.

USB Type C Cable and Connector Specification

USB 31 Type B Female.  10 Gbps. Includes Power.

Naming Hilarity (and here)


USB 3.0 is renamed to USB 3.1 Gen 1  
SuperSpeed USB


USB 10 Gbps is USB 3.1 Gen 2
SuperSpeed USB 10Gbps

USB Power Consumption

The read this from Anandtech

Host Adapter Cards

Both my development and Production Workstation now have USB 3.1 Gen 2 PCI cards that I reviewed 

USB 31 Type C PCI card
USB 31 Type C and Type A card


USB Type C Adapter Plugs

Your best most prolific and lowest cost source [by far] is eBay.

USB 31 Type C PowerBank

So far only the Xiaomi Powerbank with a native USB 31 Type C interface.  Press release

USB 31 Type C Power Hub

To date only this modest attempt from Anker.  What professionals need is a Type-C only hub.  Then I could run 2 hubs.  One for all my Type-C devices and another for all the rest.

USB 31 Type C Bare Disk Adapter 2.5"

Read my review link, the speeds of the claimed USB 31 interface clearly limited the actual disk.  They were a little faster than my 2014 Orico USB 30 dock, so we made a little progress

USB 31 Type C Dock 3.5 "

At the time of writing only the Startech and Silverstone TS11-C docks exists worldwide!   Prove me wrong, do please.

This product uses a single USB 31 Type B connector, female.

USB 31 Type C Disk Caddy 2.5"





USB 31 Type C M.2 B Key Disk Caddy


USB 31 Type C External SSD  (5Gbps only)


USB 31 Type C Portable Hard Disk


USB 31 Type C M.2 M Key Disk Caddy

Does not yet exist.  It ought to because the USB 31 interface max speed of 10 Gbps is faster than the SATA III or a M.2 B Key

USB 30 Type A Memory Stick

Only mentioned here as a reference because this USB 30 drive is currently way faster than any USB 31 drive that I have found so far


USB 31 Type C Memory Stick

There are Type C connector USB Drives

But I found none with  a 10 Gbps interface.  So at best they are really USB 30 standard products

USB 31 Hubs / Docks

USB 31 Hubs on Monitors

Not found

USB 31 Mini PC

The latest Intel i7 NUC has a Type C connector.  Also consider  


Right now

- USB 31 Gen peripherals are limited
- And relatively expensive, but still a lot cheaper than Thunderbolt!
- They are not delivering the promised 10Gbps, not even close
- But some are faster than their USB 30 (aka USB 31 gen 1) siblings
- It's basically and enthusiasts game and quite frustrating
- The poor adoption rate is due to the consumer being pretty happy with USB 30 speeds of 5Gbps


USB 3.1 at stegcomputer.ch
USB 3.1 at digitec.ch
USB 3.1 at scan.co.uk
USB 3.1 ebay.co.uk
SuperSpeed USB Definitions
USB Revision 3.1 Specification
USB Type C Cable and Connector Specification
Getting to 10Gbps with USB 31  and here