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What is USB 3.1 and how does it differ from USB 3.0?

USB 3.1 is the most recent version of the USB (Universal Serial Bus) standard for connecting computers and electronic devices. It is capable of data transfer speeds up to 10Gbps, and while it can use the USB-C connector type, it can also use a variety of other connector types. To achieve USB 3.1 transfer speeds, your USB host connection, cables, and device must all support USB 3.1. USB 3.1 is also known as USB 3.1 Gen 2 (10Gbps). 

USB 3.0 is capable of data transfer speeds up to 5Gbps. USB 3.0 is also known as USB 3.1 Gen 1 (5Gbps).

USB 3.1 is backwards compatible with USB 3.0 and USB 2.0, except in the following scenarios:

  • USB-B 3.1 cables are not compatible with USB-B 2.0 ports.
  • Unless you use an adapter, USB-C ports or cables will not work with USB-A or USB-B ports or cables.
  • Devices that require USB 3.1 transfer speeds of 10Gbps might not work with USB 3.0 or USB 2.0, or you might experience lower transfer speeds and impacted performance.
  • Bus-powered USB devices that requires more power than what USB 2.0 can provide are not compatible with USB 2.0.

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