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Definition: USB 3.0

The third-generation USB interface introduced in 2008. Called "SuperSpeed USB" (SS USB), USB 3.0 increased speed from 480 Mbps to 5 Gbps and reduced CPU overhead by no longer continuously polling devices. In practice, USB 3.0 devices do not achieve a 10x speed increase. For example, a USB 3.0 storage drive may deliver a 50% improvement over its USB 2.0 counterpart. See USB.

A Naming Jumble
USB 3.0 and 3.1 were renamed twice, resulting in the following three ways the same ports may be identified. See USB 3.2.
    USB 3.0            USB 3.1

      3.0                3.1
      3.1 Gen 1          3.1 Gen 2
      3.2 Gen 1x1        3.2 Gen 2x1

A Is Interchangeable; B Is Not
Type A 2.0 sockets accept 3.0 plugs. But Type B plugs are larger than their 2.0 counterparts. (Images courtesy of Intel Corporation.)

The Blue Ports
USB 3.0 ports generally have a blue tongue in contrast to black or white, which is USB 2.0. The SuperSpeed (SS) logos are the primary identifier.

The In-Between Naming
USB 3.0 was USB 3.1 Gen 1 for a while until it was renamed USB 3.2 Gen 1x1. (Image courtesy of Tripp Lite, www.tripplite.com)