When you play the comparisons game, USB 3.0 needs to catch up on a lot, if it wants to be the next Thunderbolt. If there’s any good news to gain from that rather downer of a statement, it is that the USB Implementers Forum, or USB-IF, is already developing a replacement/upgrade of USB 3.0. It has announced the existence of a USB 3.5 that supposedly matches the current speed that Thunderbolt has to offer.
The USB 3.5 buzz is the bus interface’s opportunity to play catch-up with a huge competitor, Thunderbolt. The specifications for the new USB 3.5 interface are impressive compared to the ones for USB 3.0. With pressure coming from critics who have stated that USB 3.0 is Thunderbolt’s inferior, the USB-IF finally caved. The new data transfer rate for USB 3.5 is 10 GB/s, which is the current transfer rate of Thunderbolt. According to the USB Implementers Forum, USB 3.5 is not even the end of the line for the bus interface. What the USB-IF meant is that the USB 3.5 is just an appetizer because, as of the future, the real main course would be the existence of a USB 4.0. At present, however, we have something to celebrate about USB 3.5.
The bus interface specification, which will be introduced early 2014, does a world of good, even for the current USB 3.0. The USB-IF is planning on improving on the specifications and performance of the USB 3.0 bus interface for those who either don’t know or don’t care about making the quick upgrade to USB 3.5. Some additional specs that would also try to work out the kinks present in USB 3.0 are updating the amount of power that the cable can put out. The goal of the USB-IF is to bump the current rate from 10 watts of electricity up to 100 watts. If the organization would ever be successful with that mission, then there’s a possibility that most people will soon be able to charge their laptops by using just one maximum power output USB cable.
The USB Implementers Forum’s announcement of the advent of USB 3.5 in 2014 is something to look forward, too. The most exciting piece of information from it is that, after such a long time, the USB interface will finally be able to match Thunderbolt’s standard rate of data transfer (even if it’s just for a short while).