What’s the difference between USB3.0 and USB3.1?

Over the past few years USB 3.0 has developed into a popular interface technology for applications in the fields of industry, medicine and consumer electronics. USB 3.0 has now established itself alongside Gigabit Ethernet as an important mainstream interface. The term “USB 3.1” is a more recent but increasingly prevalent addition. The question is, what exactly is USB 3.1 and how does it differ from USB 3.0?

First we will discuss the differences between USB 3.1 Gen 1 and USB 3.1 Gen 2. At a technical level, USB 3.1 Gen 1 and USB 3.0 are identical, with the same cable length, bandwidth and other properties such as real-time compatibility. The different names are solely based on a decision by the USB Implementers Forum  to change the label. However, USB 3.1 Gen 2 (or USB Superspeed+) by contrast features a higher bandwidth of up to 600 MB/s.