TechBits: USB 3.1 (12.11.13)

The USB standard has remained largely unchanged since it was introduced. {}There are many newer types of connectors, and upgrades in speed- but a newer USB 3.0 cable can still plug into a first-generation socket.

That's about to change. {}A new USB 3.1 standard is set to be introduced soon, and it will mark the first major change in USB hardware. {}The plug will be smaller- and will be reversible. {}That means no more trying to plug in a cable, only to flip it over so it will go in. {}It also means the new version will not be backwards-compatible with current plugs.

The bigger advantage of USB 3.1 will be greater speed. {}Expect USB 3.1 to appear in the second half of 2014.