The USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF) is at it again when it comes to messing with the naming process of USB-C in general. If you have found yourself to be confused by the rename of USB 3.x products a few years ago, you are not alone. It was one of the worst possible attempts at improving what was already confusing to some, and instead, making it confusing for most others.
Here, we are only a few years into the change and the USB-IF has caught up to the opinions of others finally and decided to take another shot at doing it right this time. And it appears they might actually be on to something. Although I’m sure many will still be confused and many retailers will still market products under the previous naming process (or both) to really mess with your head.
So the idea is that as long as the connection type is USB-C, the version numbers are going away. They couldn’t quite figure out how to make sense of them so removing them out of the mix seems to be the best bet. Instead, that information is being replaced by specs. Specifically, speed and power transfer capabilities.
USB-C products will be certified as USB 5Gbps, USB 10Gbps, USB 20Gbps, and USB 40Gbps. Much more straight-to-the-point than USB 3.1, USB 3.2 Gen 2, USB4, etc. No longer would you be guessing what something is rated for specifically. Instead, you’ll know the moment you see the logo or name of the product.
Power may also be included in such logos, as you can see in the above images. With variations of 60W or 240W of each.
So if you need a USB-C cable for your phone, and one that is capable of up to 20Gbps because your phone states the same, it shouldn’t be too hard to find the right choice. No worries of USB 3.0 or 3.2, or any other version number. Just the connector type and desired speed (or wattage).
You may start seeing products containing the new certified branding later this year. Previous products may continue to use the logos and descriptions they have already. Although, you may also run into some companies that decide to refresh the packaging and listings to reflect these changes. So it might be a little confusing for a bit until the new norm becomes consistent.