The USB 3.0 Promoter Group has used CES 2013 to announce an enhancement to the USB 3.0 (aka SuperSpeed USB) standard that will see the throughput performance of USB 3.0 double from 5 Gbps to 10 Gbps. The speed boost will come courtesy of enhanced USB connectors and cables that are fully backward compatible with existing USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 devices.

The 10 Gbps data throughput speed puts USB 3 on more of an equal footing with Thunderbolt, which also offers 10 Gbps transfer speeds. The announcement comes as more Thunderbolt-equipped devices are appearing on the market, and there will likely be a wait for USB 3.0 devices equipped to take advantage of the speed boost.

However, with major industry players such as HP, Intel, Microsoft, ST-Ericsson and Texas instruments part of the USB Promoter Group, we shouldn’t have to wait too long before 10 Gbps-capable USB 3.0 devices see the light of day.

“Microsoft has been a strong supporter of the USB community where we have advocated balancing innovation and compatibility,” said Dennis Flanagan, General Manager, Windows Ecosystem Engagement. “The planned updates to USB 3.0 are consistent with our views. These updates will enable higher data rates and allow combining of disk, high-definition audio/video and networking traffic on a single cable – all while maintaining compatibility with billions of existing devices.”

The 10 Gbps SuperSpeed USB update is up for industry review during the first quarter of 2013, with completion of the standard expected by the middle of the year.

Source: USB 3.0 Promoter Group