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posted by martyb on Wednesday February 27 2019, @04:28AM   Printer-friendly
from the clear-as-mud dept.

People already get the names wrong, so the USB group has doubled down on bad naming.

https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2019/02/usb-3-2-is-going-to-make-the-current-usb-branding-even-worse/

USB 3.0 was straightforward enough. A USB 3.0 connection ran at 5Gb/s, and slower connections were USB 2 or even USB 1.1. The new 5Gb/s data rate was branded "SuperSpeed USB," following USB 2's 480Mb/s "High Speed" and USB 1.1's 12Mb/s "Full Speed."

But then USB 3.1 came along and muddied the waters. Its big new feature was doubling the data rate to 10Gb/s. The logical thing would have been to identify existing 5Gb/s devices as "USB 3.0" and new 10Gb/s devices as "USB 3.1." But that's not what the USB-IF did. For reasons that remain hard to understand, the decision was made to retroactively rebrand USB 3.0: 5Gb/s 3.0 connections became "USB 3.1 Gen 1," with the 10Gb/s connections being "USB 3.1 Gen 2." The consumer branding is "SuperSpeed USB 10Gbps."

What this branding meant is that many manufacturers say that a device supports "USB 3.1" even if it's only a "USB 3.1 Gen 1" device running at 5Gb/s. Meanwhile, other manufacturers do the sensible thing: they use "USB 3.0" to denote 5Gb/s devices and reserve "USB 3.1" for 10Gb/s parts.

USB 3.2 doubles down on this confusion. 5Gb/s devices are now "USB 3.2 Gen 1." 10Gb/s devices become "USB 3.2 Gen 2." And 20Gb/s devices will be... "USB 3.2 Gen 2×2." Because they work by running two 10Gb/s connections along different pairs of wires simultaneously, and it's just obvious from arithmetic that you'd number the generations "1, 2, 2×2." Perhaps they're named for powers of two, starting with zero? The consumer branding is a more reasonable "SuperSpeed USB 20Gbps."

-- submitted from IRC


Original Submission

Related Stories

Forget USB 3.2: Thunderbolt 3 Will Become the Basis of USB 4 23 comments

USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 isn't even my final form:

Fulfilling its 2017 promise to make Thunderbolt 3 royalty-free, Intel has given the specification for its high-speed interconnect to the USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF), the industry group that develops the USB specification. The USB-IF has taken the spec and will use it to form the basis of USB4, the next iteration of USB following USB 3.2.

Thunderbolt 3 not only doubles the bandwidth of USB 3.2 Gen 2×2, going from 20Gb/s to 40Gb/s, it also enables the use of multiple data and display protocols simultaneously. We would expect the USB4 specification to be essentially a superset of the Thunderbolt 3 and USB 3.2 specifications, thus incorporating both the traditional USB family of protocols (up to and including the USB 3.2 Gen 2×2) and the Thunderbolt 3 protocol in a single document. Down the line, this should translate into USB4 controllers that support the whole range of speeds.

Lost? Frightened? Confused? Good!

Also at AnandTech, The Verge, and Engadget.


Original Submission

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  • (Score: 2, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 27 2019, @05:46AM (13 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 27 2019, @05:46AM (#807480)

    And there's a USB-C connector, well I think its just a connector... it's part of both the 3.1 and 3.2 specs according to wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USB-C [wikipedia.org] so does that mean they retarded usb-3-micro thing is gone finally?

    I'm still confused ...

    • (Score: 4, Funny) by snmygos on Wednesday February 27 2019, @06:05AM (10 children)

      by snmygos (6274) on Wednesday February 27 2019, @06:05AM (#807482)

      They seem terrorized by the number 4!

      • (Score: 5, Funny) by kazzie on Wednesday February 27 2019, @07:43AM

        by kazzie (5309) on Wednesday February 27 2019, @07:43AM (#807503)

        Just like Winamp.

      • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 27 2019, @11:24AM (6 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 27 2019, @11:24AM (#807535)

        Just wait until they get to the number "9". Both Windows and MacOS skipped over it for a reason ...

        • (Score: 2) by bart9h on Wednesday February 27 2019, @12:06PM (1 child)

          by bart9h (767) on Wednesday February 27 2019, @12:06PM (#807546)

          number nine ....
          number nine. ...
          number nine.. ..
          number nine... .

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 27 2019, @01:29PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 27 2019, @01:29PM (#807581)

            That didn't take long. TYVM :-)

        • (Score: 3, Informative) by DannyB on Wednesday February 27 2019, @03:13PM (3 children)

          by DannyB (5839) on Wednesday February 27 2019, @03:13PM (#807626) Journal

          Just wait until they get to the number "9". Both Windows and MacOS skipped over it for a reason ...

          Um . . . there WAS a Mac OS 9. It was the final beloved version of the Classic Mac OS. After it came the abomination popularly known as OS X with an obsession on cats.

          Spend less time fixating on skipping over nine and spend more time obsessing on the number 10, but label it X.

          Mac OS X will be the last one.

          Windows 10 will be the last one. Microsoft: please change the name to Windows OS X.

          Linux 10 anyone? anyone?

          --
          If you have one of those computers that makes it difficult to get work done, use Hyper-V to install Linux.
          • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Wednesday February 27 2019, @03:14PM

            by DannyB (5839) on Wednesday February 27 2019, @03:14PM (#807627) Journal

            One more thing . . . Android is now up to 9. So Google didn't skip 9. How about Android OS X?

            --
            If you have one of those computers that makes it difficult to get work done, use Hyper-V to install Linux.
          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 27 2019, @07:11PM (1 child)

            by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 27 2019, @07:11PM (#807749)

            lazy minded, retarded fucks already call ubuntu 18.04 ubuntu 18, ffs!

            • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Thursday February 28 2019, @03:13PM

              by DannyB (5839) on Thursday February 28 2019, @03:13PM (#808141) Journal

              So I can deduce:

              Ubuntu 18 means 18.04

              Ubuntu 18 OS X means 18.10

              --
              If you have one of those computers that makes it difficult to get work done, use Hyper-V to install Linux.
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 27 2019, @12:49PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 27 2019, @12:49PM (#807564)

        Could be they are japanese afraid of the number 4 [wikipedia.org]?.

        See also: Tetraphobia [wikipedia.org], Fraidy Cat [wikipedia.org]

      • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Wednesday February 27 2019, @03:10PM

        by DannyB (5839) on Wednesday February 27 2019, @03:10PM (#807624) Journal

        They seem terrorized by the number 4!

        After KDE 4, what do you expect?

        Prediction: no python 4.

        --
        If you have one of those computers that makes it difficult to get work done, use Hyper-V to install Linux.
    • (Score: 2) by bob_super on Wednesday February 27 2019, @06:21AM

      by bob_super (1357) on Wednesday February 27 2019, @06:21AM (#807486)

      There's such a vast array of optional features in the same physical connector, they thought they'd get flak if they went with a simple system.
      By confusing everybody, they don't get blamed for misleading by oversimplification.

      That's the most rational explanation I can find for this clusterfuck.

    • (Score: 3, Informative) by MostCynical on Wednesday February 27 2019, @06:31AM

      by MostCynical (2589) on Wednesday February 27 2019, @06:31AM (#807490) Journal

      Mini A, mini B, mini AB, micro A, micro AB are all deprecated [wikipedia.org]

      The speed indicator is separate.

      It is a mess

      --
      "I guess once you start doubting, there's no end to it." -Batou, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex
  • (Score: 2) by deimios on Wednesday February 27 2019, @06:23AM (1 child)

    by deimios (201) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday February 27 2019, @06:23AM (#807487) Journal
    I seriously thought that the whole

    And 20Gb/s devices will be... "USB 3.2 Gen 2×2.

    part of TFS was a hyperbole introduced by the editors... Oh how mistaken I was.

    • (Score: 4, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 27 2019, @11:27AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 27 2019, @11:27AM (#807536)

      The folks at USB saw what the people at WiFi did and said "hold my connector ..."

  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by pTamok on Wednesday February 27 2019, @07:43AM (2 children)

    by pTamok (3042) on Wednesday February 27 2019, @07:43AM (#807502)

    ...to point and laugh. The marketing geniuses that came up with this need to be ridiculed so that they avoid ridicule next time.

    I'm less than impressed that is it possible to buy cables with a USB2 Type A (NOT 'Type A SuperSpeed') plug [wikipedia.org] on one end and a USB3 Type C plug [wikipedia.org] on the other that cannot be used to charge a device with a USB3 socket. Especially as the cable I bought is marked on its packaging that it is a charging cable, not a data cable.

    EN USB Charging cable. The charging cable should only be used for adapters with the right capacity, in this case max. 2.4 A."

    It does not charge the mobile phone I bought the cable to use with.

    • (Score: 3, Funny) by DannyB on Wednesday February 27 2019, @03:21PM

      by DannyB (5839) on Wednesday February 27 2019, @03:21PM (#807633) Journal

      Point and laugh. But this is necessary. In order to sell you more new cables, dongles and adapters. It is a tried and true strategy tragedy that any Apple user can tell you about. It helps promote e-waste while not running afoul of EU laws designed to eliminate e-waste that was caused by every phone needing a different custom charger. Your old cables and adapters can be ground into a new powdered food additive marketed as being high tech.

      --
      If you have one of those computers that makes it difficult to get work done, use Hyper-V to install Linux.
    • (Score: 2) by Whoever on Wednesday February 27 2019, @04:04PM

      by Whoever (4524) on Wednesday February 27 2019, @04:04PM (#807654) Journal

      This is very clearly a deliberate strategy. They intend to create confusion, just like they did earlier with USB 2.

      They won't feel ridiculed, since this was a decision they took, knowing how it would be confusing.

  • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 27 2019, @08:18AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 27 2019, @08:18AM (#807512)

    USB 3.*, the New BlueRay! Did not request, do not want, will not use. Please go and die in a fire.

  • (Score: 1, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 27 2019, @08:46AM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 27 2019, @08:46AM (#807514)

    Some smart people are really stupid.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 27 2019, @12:22PM (2 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 27 2019, @12:22PM (#807551)

    at making it confusing enough, then try harder the next time to make it confusing enough.

    Have to make sure the monster cable has a way to justify charging $299.99 for fifty cents of copper and ten cents of insulation. How else would they be able to fleece folks how don't know better?

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 27 2019, @12:51PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 27 2019, @12:51PM (#807566)

      Gold contacts.

    • (Score: 2) by exaeta on Wednesday February 27 2019, @06:13PM

      by exaeta (6957) on Wednesday February 27 2019, @06:13PM (#807719) Homepage Journal
      I mean, seriously. They need to just call it USB 3.2, USB 3.3, USB 3.4, etc.
      --
      The Government is a Bird
  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 27 2019, @01:58PM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 27 2019, @01:58PM (#807596)

    But they already used “universal”
    How about “TSB”
    Transdimensional Serial Bus

    • (Score: 4, Funny) by The Archon V2.0 on Wednesday February 27 2019, @05:46PM

      by The Archon V2.0 (3887) on Wednesday February 27 2019, @05:46PM (#807710)

      I got to rotate the thing at least 360 degrees to make it fit, it's already working in higher dimensions.

  • (Score: 3, Funny) by DannyB on Wednesday February 27 2019, @03:17PM (4 children)

    by DannyB (5839) on Wednesday February 27 2019, @03:17PM (#807630) Journal

    I have a proposal.

    In order to eliminate confusion and not cause any more damage to the USB branding, I propose that the next version be named USB 5G!

    5G is the best! Just ask AT&T about its fictional 5G!

    And this won't screw up the USB branding even more. Nope! Nosiree!

    Everyone can tell it is better because it's named 5G!

    --
    If you have one of those computers that makes it difficult to get work done, use Hyper-V to install Linux.
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 27 2019, @06:57PM (3 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 27 2019, @06:57PM (#807740)

      But what about the backdoors, and the lack of lubrication?

      • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Wednesday February 27 2019, @09:50PM (2 children)

        by DannyB (5839) on Wednesday February 27 2019, @09:50PM (#807828) Journal

        You sir need to look more carefully at USB-C. It goes both ways!

        The USB-C cable has two male ends. The devices (phone, laptop, desktop doc, wall wart charger, etc) all have female connectors.

        Since both ends of the cable are male, you first of all don't have to worry about which end of the cable goes where.

        There isn't this distinction between "host" and "device". You can plug two phones together. (Both phones have female connector, cable has two male connectors.)

        Or you can plug two laptops together. Or plug a phone and laptop together. Or a phone and a charger. Furthermore, you CAN actually use a laptop charger with a phone, or a phone charger with a laptop. The devices negotiate with the charger how much juice they will get. If you use a phone charger on a laptop, you get a nice warning that it will not rapidly charge. Phone charger blocks are 15W and laptop charger blocks are 45W. I would think that all I really need are laptop charger blocks, but they are more expensive than a phone charger brick.

        When you insert the male cable connector into the female device connector, you can insert it either way up. No more having to flip the cable over because you tried to insert it the wrong way.

        --
        If you have one of those computers that makes it difficult to get work done, use Hyper-V to install Linux.
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 27 2019, @10:05PM (1 child)

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 27 2019, @10:05PM (#807831)

          Heh, you make it sound so simple, yet I tried it and it didn't work as described. I flipped it over and it didn't work. I swap the ends and it didn't work!

          ... I finally realized my female parts doesn't actually take the male parts... shame on you USB-C, you're supposed to be universal but you discriminate on the female parts..

          • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Thursday February 28 2019, @03:17PM

            by DannyB (5839) on Thursday February 28 2019, @03:17PM (#808142) Journal

            Maybe next an aptly named USB D connector that only has male parts?

            --
            If you have one of those computers that makes it difficult to get work done, use Hyper-V to install Linux.
  • (Score: 2) by Mykl on Wednesday February 27 2019, @10:34PM

    by Mykl (1112) on Wednesday February 27 2019, @10:34PM (#807833)

    ...will be to emulate Apple and do away with version numbers altogether. Just call everything "USB" from now on. Just like iPad, iMac etc.

  • (Score: 2) by Absolutely.Geek on Wednesday February 27 2019, @11:30PM (1 child)

    by Absolutely.Geek (5328) on Wednesday February 27 2019, @11:30PM (#807859)

    I hear you are having issues with brand confusion; I think that we can generally agree that you have no idea how to name things.
    How about we make a small change and simplify things. I propose we change the naming to something we can all agree on; it is the speed that matters.

    USB 3.0 / USB 3.1 Gen 1 / USB 3.2 Gen 1 Should now be referred to as USB 3 - 5
    USB 3.1 / USB 3.1 Gen 2 / USB 3.2 Gen 2 Should now be referred to as USB 3 - 10
    USB 3.2 2x2 Should now be referred to as USB 3 - 20

    USB 3 - 5 supported plug types A / C
    USB 3 - 10 supported plug types A / C
    USB 3 - 20 supported plug types C

    Simple elegant and full of useful information.

    Note further developments are easily managed e.g.
    USB 3 - 40 supported plug types C / D
    USB 4 - 100 supported plug types D

    --
    Don't trust the police or the government - Shihad: My mind's sedate.
    • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Thursday February 28 2019, @03:20PM

      by DannyB (5839) on Thursday February 28 2019, @03:20PM (#808144) Journal

      Maybe the group (ir)resonsible for USB should create a laminated cheat sheet and distribute it with every USB device, cable and accessory.

      This can't possibly be a failure of marketing and branding.

      (idea: put all marketing people into space craft and fire it into the sun. does not require a high quality durable life support system. Maybe also include PHBs if there is room left over)

      --
      If you have one of those computers that makes it difficult to get work done, use Hyper-V to install Linux.
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