USB-C has long been touted as the universal standard that will save us all, a single port that can charge your phone, your laptop, your tablet, your Bluetooth speaker, and even your Nintendo console, all through a single common port.
Sadly, the future of charging isn’t quite that simple, with different voltage requirements, specifications for data transfer and power, and more all making it vastly more complicated to ensure that when you plug something into a USB-C port it will actually work the way you want it to.
With that in mind, the USB 3.0 Promoter Group — which counts Apple, HP, Intel, Microsoft, Texas Instruments, and others among its members — just announced another USB-C specification: USB 3.2. It will support “multi-lane operation” that, in theory, will allow devices utilizing it to transfer multiple lanes of data at the same time. Put simply: it’s faster than regular USB 3.0, allowing up to two lanes of 5Gbps or two lanes of 10Gbps operation.
Of course, in order to take advantage of USB 3.2, you’ll need devices that support it. That said, assuming the host and recipient devices are compatible with USB 3.2, even older USB 3.0 cables will see faster speeds of up to 2Gbps. So, assuming manufacturers support it, you should still see some advantages from the new spec, even if you’re not ready to upgrade all your stuff.
Given that USB 3.2 isn’t expected to be finalized until later this year, it’ll probably still be a while before we see the new standard roll out to devices, and there’s even more news planned for the USB Developer Days event in September 2017.