USB branding could become a little easier to understand

The supervisory group wants to help you understand what different cables and connectors can actually do. It’s trying to ditch branding like and in an attempt to simplify things, but manufacturers might not necessarily embrace the changes.

The steps are part of a broader initiative by the USB Implementers Forum () to rename USB standards. The group introduced new logos for cables, connectors and packaging last year. The updated branding is intended to help people understand what the standards are capable of in terms of data transfer speeds and performance, as well as charging speeds, said USB-IF President and Chief Operating Officer Jeff Ravencraft .

SuperSpeed ​​(aka USB 3) is already here. You may have seen it on USB cable boxes. In the future, the USB-IF would like cable manufacturers to use “USB 10 Gbps” instead of “SuperSpeed ​​USB 10 Gbps” and “USB 20 Gbps” instead of “USB4 20 Gbps”. Meanwhile, USB-C cables certified by the USB-IF must list both data transfer speeds and charging performance.

The changes went into effect recently and the updated branding could appear on labels and packaging by the end of the year. The branding guidelines apply to products with any type of USB connector, with the exception of USB 1.0, which you won’t see very often these days anyway, and USB 2.0 (aka USB Hi-Speed). The USB-IF posits that in the latter case, using “USB 480Mbps” could cause confusion for those who see it on the box and believe it’s faster than USB 5Gbps simply because of the larger number.

The rebranding requirements only apply to USB-IF certified devices and cables. But since USB is an open standard (unlike Thunderbolt 4, for example), there’s nothing stopping manufacturers from using SuperSpeed ​​and USB4 branding if they really want to The edge Remarks. So it remains to be seen how much these measures actually provide for people who only need one cable for their device.

Knowing which cable to use is complicated enough. For example, Thunderbolt 3 and Thunderbolt 4 connectors and ports look the same as USB-C connectors. The updated guidelines also won’t do much to help you understand whether a cable supports DisplayPort or a specific fast charging standard.

On the surface at least, these appear to be positive measures to reduce confusion and get rid of unnecessary chatter. Still, it’s unclear whether getting rid of the SuperSpeed ​​moniker, which was less widely used than USB 3 anyway, will actually help clear things up for most users. With the increasingly widespread adoption of USB-C as a more universal standard — that’s the whole point of USB in the first place — it might not matter anyway.

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