The first USB 3.1 capable products will start shipping in the first half of 2015, as the technology already received support from companies like Microsoft, Intel and Apple. Official organizations from the EU and China have already approved the verification procedures to make USB 3.1 ready for general use.
Apple is among the first to adopt this standard, that will be included on its MacBook products sold in 2015. Adata has also pledged early support for this standard and Nokia has already announced a USB Type C reversible connector on its Nokia N1 tablet. USB 3.1 features universal reversible ports of this sort. It also brings twice the speed of its predecessor, reaching 10 Gbps, matching Intel’s first generation Thunderbolt technology.
Desktop Skylake-S chipsets won’t include native support for the new standard, but motherboard makers will add USB 3.1 functionality via third party controllers. The new Skylake-S processors are ready for a second half of the year 2015 debut, with the new 100 series chips. USB 3.1 is a welcome evolution and we can’t help but wonder why it wasn’t called USB 4.0.