The USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF) has muddled the waters around how different USB standards are named, with USB 3.0 and USB 3.1 set to be different generations of USB 3.2, while USB 3.2 itself becomes the more confusing name "USB 3.2 Gen 2×2."
A USB Type-C cable is used to connect to MacBooks.
Advertised as part of the Mobile World Congress, USB-IF absorbs the earlier USB 3-based specifications in USB 3.2, making all three versions use the same name but under three different generations.
What was previously referred to as USB 3.0, and at some point USB 3.1 Gen 1, will instead have the technical name USB 3.2 Gen 1, due to the earliest of the three generations, reports Tom's Hardware ]. USB 3.1, also known as USB 3.1 Gen 2, is renamed to USB 3.2 Gen 2.
To add to the confusion, USB 3.2 will not follow the expected convention to be called USB 3.2 Gen 3, but will be known instead as USB 3.2 Gen 2×2. The strange number change is relative to the maximum data transfer rate of 20 GB, which it achieves by using two 10 GB channels, namely twice as many channels used by USB Gen 2.
The name changes for USB 3.1, USB 3.1 and USB 3.2
The specifications have nothing to do with the contact's physicality. USB 3.2 Gen 1 and USB 3.2 Gen 2 can connect to the rectangular USB-A or USB-C connector. USB 3.2 gene 2×2 is limited to USB-C only. Thunderbolt 3 branding and naming remains unchanged.
For marketing purposes, USB-IF proposes a slightly more logical naming system. While USB 3.2 Gen 1 is called SuperSpeed USB, Gen 2 is called SuperSpeed USB 10Gbps, with the inclusion of the speed to denote it as faster than Gen 1. USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 is given a similar marketing term for SuperSpeed USB 20 Gbit.
There are suggested devices that use USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 will arrive in 2019 on high-performance desktops, with peripherals likely to reach 2020 when standard support becomes more widespread.
Apple is a remarkable member of the USB 3.0 Promoter Group, which means it is highly likely to be an early adopter of USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 in the hardware.