Back in June we reported that the USB Implementers Forum and Intel were working on the spec for USB 3.5. That would see data transfer speeds increased to 10Gbps compared to the 5Gbps USB 3.0 currently offers. Less than two months on and the revised spec has been finalized, albeit with the name USB 3.1 rather than 3.5.USB 3.1 (also known as Superspeed+) will remain backwards compatible with existing USB equipment, however, you are going to have to invest in new equipment to take advantage of those 10Gbps transfer speeds. Devices offering support should appear next year once the developer days in August, October, and December have been completed. Taiwan’s ASMedia is expected to be the first company to offer a USB 3.1 host controller early next year.USB 3.1 is being viewed as a stop gap solution on the way to USB 4.0, but one that was required to try and keep pace with Thunderbolt, which offers both 10Gbps and 20Gbps data transfer speeds. USB does hold the advantage though, with so much more support on the market for the standard.For now, know that USB 3.1 kit will be arriving next year and we should learn more about the new standard once the developer days kick off later this month on August 21. Also don’t forget that the USB 3.0 spec is being improved to allow up to 100 watts of power output to be handled, meaning you may be able to ditch a few power leads in the near future.