USB 3.2 has been tentatively announced. It could offer up to 20Gbps transfer speeds, double what USB 3.1 Gen 2 can do. However, it is still in the final draft phase, the formal release will be in September when specs will be locked in.

The new standard will be used exclusively with USB-C cables – the A/B connectors do not have enough wires to carry that much data. Yep, version 3.2 will be making use of the muli-lane capabilities of existing USB-C cables to deliver “over 2GB/s data transfer performance”.

If your USB-C cables can do 10Gbps (that’s USB 3.1 Gen 2), then those cables will be compatible with USB 3.2. Unfortunately, they will be the only part of your current setup that is – the new standard requires new devices and slightly updated hosts to work. It will be backwards compatible, of course, but at the old slower speeds.

Still, you’ll likely have to wait until 2019 before that becomes a problem – once the specs are finalized, manufacturers will need some time to bring USB 3.2 devices to market.

An aside: the USB-IF made a bit of a mess of names. USB 3.0 (5Gbps) is no more, instead it’s called USB 3.1 Gen 1. Then there’s USB 3.1 Gen 2 (10Gbps), which was called just “3.1” for a short while.