Understanding the USB brand can get a little easier

The group that supervises He wants to make it easier for you to understand what different cables and ports can actually do. It’s trying to get rid of brands like And the In an effort to simplify things, manufacturers may not necessarily embrace the changes.

The steps are part of a broader drive by the USB Implementers forum () to rename the USB standards. The group brought in new logos for cables, ports and packaging last year. Jeff Ravencraft, USB-IF’s president and chief operating officer, said the updated branding is all about helping people understand what the standards can deliver in terms of data transfer speeds and performance, as well as charging speeds. .

SuperSpeed ​​(also known as USB 3) exists . You may have seen it on USB cable boxes. Going forward, USB-IF wants cable makers to use “USB 10Gbps” instead of “SuperSpeed ​​USB 10Gbps” and “USB 20Gbps” instead of “USB4 20Gbps.” Meanwhile, USB-IF-certified USB-C cables will need to list both data transfer speeds and charging wattage.

The changes took effect recently, 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 very often these days anyway, and USB 2.0 (also known as USB Hi-Speed). USB-IF believes that in the latter case, using “USB 480Mbps” might cause confusion for those who might see it on the packaging and think it’s faster than USB 5Gbps, simply because of the higher number.

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Rebranding requirements apply only to USB-IF-certified devices and cables. But since USB is an open standard (unlike Thunderbolt 4 for example), there’s nothing stopping manufacturers from using the SuperSpeed ​​brand and USB4 if they really want to, like the edge Notes. As such, it remains to be seen to what extent these actions will actually clear things up for people who only need a cable for their device.

Knowing which cable you need is complicated enough already. The Thunderbolt 3 and Thunderbolt 4 connectors and ports look almost identical to the USB-C ports, for example. The updated instructions won’t help you much in understanding whether the cable supports DisplayPort or a particular fast charging standard either.

On the surface, at least, these seem like positive steps to reduce confusion and eliminate unnecessary speech. However, it’s unclear whether giving up the SuperSpeed ​​moniker, which is arguably less used than USB 3 anyway, will actually help clear things up for most users. It might not matter anyway given the widespread adoption of USB-C as a more global standard – and that’s the whole point of USB in the first place.

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