USB-IF says goodbye to the confusing SuperSpeed ​​USB branding

USB-IF says goodbye to the confusing SuperSpeed ​​USB branding
Written by admin

A USB-c cable type connects to a laptop computer
To enlarge / USB-IF no longer recommends SuperSpeed ​​logos or branding for fast USB ports.

When SuperSpeed ​​USB was announced in 2007, the branding was a logical differentiator. The term was launched with USB 3.0, which brought maximum data transfer speeds from USB 2.0 up from 0.48 Gbps to 5 Gbps. But by 2022, there were three versions of SuperSpeed ​​USB in different connector types facing consumers, plus potentially faster ones. USB4. Looking ahead, USB products will continue to offer different performance capabilities while looking the same, but there’s at least one thing we can all agree on: the word “SuperSpeed” is no longer a useful differentiator.

In 2019, when USB-IF, which created the USB standards, renamed USB 3.0 to USB 3.1 Gen 1, the SuperSpeed ​​brand already seemed quite unusual; From USB 3.1 to USB 3.1 Gen 2 and then to USB 3.2 Gen 2; and USB 3.2 – USB 3.2 Gen 2×2. The group tried to make things easier for consumers by recommending that sellers label products with “SuperSpeed ​​USB” followed by the maximum speed (USB 3.2 Gen 2×2, for example, SuperSpeed ​​USB would be 20Gbps) rather than with the specification name. .

per head updated instructions and logos which started rolling out this quarter and which you’ll reportedly see before the end of 2022 The Verge today, USB-IF now allows vendors to simply label their products as USB 20Gbps (for USB 3.2 Gen 2×2), USB 10Gbps (for USB 3.2 Gen 2), etc. recommends tagging as SuperSpeed ​​is not required.

USB performance logos of USB-IF.
To enlarge / USB performance logos of USB-IF.

Meanwhile, USB4 gets the same treatment, with USB-IF recommending USB 40Gbps and USB 20Gbps branding for the specification. when you come out USB4 Version 2.0 It should be called USB 80Gbps.

“USB4 Version 1.0, USB Version 2.0, USB 3.2, SuperSpeed ​​Plus, Enhanced SuperSpeed, and SuperSpeed+ are defined in the USB specifications; however, these terms are not intended for use in product names, messaging, packaging, or any other means. Consumer Directed content,” read the updated USB-IF language usage guidelines in September [PDF].

USB-IF still recommends to vendors the USB 2.0 label, which can take the form of USB-C, USB-A, USB-B, and more, as “High Speed ​​USB” with no performance metrics. Most products using the USB 2.0 specification are peripherals such as keyboards and printers, USB-IF president and COO Jeff Ravencraft told Ars Technica, adding that the industry group doesn’t think consumers will mistake the technology for being faster than, say, USB. 5Gbps. USB-IF was also afraid of people confusing “USB 480Mbps” as faster than USB 5Gbps because of the higher number (our “USB 0.48Gbps” doesn’t look so nice).

“Hi-Speed ​​USB has been around for over 20 years and is well established in the market, so we focused our rebranding efforts on 5Gbps and above,” said a USB-IF spokesperson.

And the recommended USB 1.0 brand is intact.

For USB-C cables, USB-IF now recommends packaging, and the logos indicate both maximum data transfer speed and power delivery.

USB-C cable logos of USB-IF.
To enlarge / USB-C cable logos of USB-IF.

It doesn’t change much

The revised recommendations are consistent with what many vendors already do: list speeds without any specific names or the term SuperSpeed. Some vendors only list USB specification names. With all of this in mind, it’s no surprise to see the official demise of the SuperSpeed ​​brand, especially with USB-IF being optional, SuperSpeed-free. USB-C logos a year ago.

The main problem of USB confusion still remains. Even like USB-C to be more everywhere and in some places finally required by lawUSB-C products can have a range of capabilities, including data transfer rates of 0.48–40Gbps.

The USB-IF instructions do not specify other capabilities either, e.g Intel Thunderbolt support regardless of whether the cable is active or passive and PCIe tunneling.

SuperSpeed ​​labels like this (under USB-A and USB-C ports) should no longer exist.
To enlarge / SuperSpeed ​​labels like this (under USB-A and USB-C ports) should no longer exist.

Sharon Harding

But according to Ravencraft, the typical person doesn’t care about any of these things. The executive told The Verge that consumer research groups have shown that most consumers are only interested in “the highest level of data performance that a product can achieve” and “the highest level of power that I can get or handle from this product.”

He told The Verge that most people don’t understand USB branding, messaging, revision control or special names.

Everything is optional

Despite efforts to simplify what consumers see, USB-IF also fails to provide widespread use of its optional logos and certifications. The USB-IF certified products There are 2,500 items on the list when there are countless devices, cables and products that use USB.

Ravencraft admitted to Ars that some companies may find the cost of obtaining USB-IF certification, including passing USB-IF compliance testing and obtaining a USB-IF trademark license agreement, “prohibitive.” There are discounts for USB-IF members.

Ravencraft also suggested that some companies may forego certification if they find they are cutting corners to save costs and thus fail compliance testing.

So the Wild West of USB labeling will probably continue to some extent, but customers also have options. Products with USB-IF logos, if any, will immediately tell you how much power delivery and speed to expect. Whether or not this speed is considered super speed is up to you.

About the author


Leave a Comment