USB 3.0, the major revision to the Universal Serial Bus (USB) has recently been renamed USB 3.1 Gen 1 by the USB-IF*. However, there are no changes to the technical specifications.

USB 3.1 Gen 1 offers the same ease of use and plug and play capabilities as previous generations of USB technologies but with a 10X performance increase and better power management. For users of USB 3.1 (SuperSpeed USB), the goal of connecting devices to PCs or notebooks is the same as the USB 2.0 specification (HighSpeed USB).

How fast is USB 3.1 Gen 1?
The performance increase is achieved through the USB 3.1 Gen 1 technology, which allows multiple streams of data transfer and boosts its peak signalling bandwidth to 5Gbp/s compared to 480Mbp/s on USB 2.0.

Although the specifications are 5Gbps, transfer speeds vary based on the controller and NAND Flash configuration. Currently USB 3.1 Gen 1 drives can be found with various architectures and channels. The higher the number of channels, the faster the transfer speeds will be.

USB 3.1 Gen 1 vs USB 3.1 Gen 2?

A new SuperSpeed USB specification called USB 3.1 Gen 2 has also been introduced by the USB-IF. This specification extends the data transfer rate to a theoretical speed of 10Gbps (or 1.2GB/s).

What is USB 3.1



Why do you need that much speed?

USB 3.1 helps you save more time and USB 3.1 drives transfer files faster than USB 2.0 drives. Depending on the number of channels the transfer speeds and the type of files you transfer, USB 3.1 can save you a lot of time compared to standard USB 2.0 drives.

Will a USB 3.1 drive work on my device with USB 2.0 ports?

Existing USB 3.0 and newer USB 3.1 Gen 1 devices are both backwards compatible with USB 2.0 ports, and will improve performance of USB 2.0 ports in comparison to standard USB 2.0 devices.

USB 3.1 Gen 2 drives are backwards compatible with both USB 3.0/3.1 Gen 1 and USB 2.0 ports and connectors. Even when you use USB 3.1 drives on your USB 2.0 host devices, you’ll still save time.

To see Kingston’s full range of USB 3.1 Gen 1 drives please visit www.kingston.com/usb.