USB 3.1 & Type-C. What’s it all about?

At NAB 2015 CalDigit introduced the Tuff and Tuff RAID USB 3.1 storage devices. If you’re not too familiar with this new interface we will explain the benefits of USB 3.1, and the new Type-C connection.

calDigit Tuff


The biggest benefit of USB 3.1 is the improved bandwidth over USB 3.0 from 5Gb/s to 10Gb/s. One thing to look out for when looking for USB 3.1 devices is whether that device is using Gen 1 USB 3.1 or Gen 2. Gen 1 features 5Gb/s bandwidth and Gen 2 uses the full 10Gb/s throughput. They are both technically USB 3.1, but only Gen 2 features 10Gb/s bandwidth. The CalDigit Tuff and Tuff RAID both use Gen 2 USB 3.1. When it comes to storage devices USB 3.1 is ideal for small portable storage such as the Tuff and Tuff RAID, as the 10Gb/s bandwidth is more than enough throughput for one or two drive devices. The ability to bus-power combined with the flexibility of the Type-C connector makes it ideal for portable storage such as the Tuff and Tuff RAID.

usb 3.1 performance

The 10Gb/s throughput is comparable to the original Thunderbolt’s max throughput. This will be especially useful for PC users who have not had as much access to Thunderbolt connectivity in order to get throughput up to 10Gb/s. Having this type of performance is great for fast SSD storage devices. cable


The new Type-C connector is a new USB connection that adds a bunch of extra features. Traditional USB connections include the Type-A and Type-B that most of us are used to. Type-C is not intrinsically linked to USB 3.1, it can be used for USB 3.0, 2.0, or 1.0 devices. We will see it more and more as a common interface on smart phones and other accessories due to its small form-factor. Even the USB Type-A connection can be used for USB 3.1. However, the Type-C connection offers more possibilities. The Type-C connector allows laptops to become even slimmer thanks to its tiny connection. The prime example being the new Macbook that only features one Type-C connector.

CalDigit Tuff connected to the Macbook

The great thing about USB 3.1 is that it is fully backwards compatible. You can connect a USB 3.1 device to a computer that has USB 3.0 or USB 2.0. In the instance of the CalDigit Tuff USB 3.1 drive we are including a USB Type-C to A cable that allows anyone to use the device regardless of whether they have a computer with Type-C or Type-A ports.

The main benefits of the Type-C connector are:

Reversible Connection

It will plug into your devices regardless of which way up it is.

100W of Power

Type-C can provide 100W of power and even power laptops.

Carry Video Signal

It can be used to connect HDMI displays.

– Backward Compatible

USB-C devices can be used on USB 3.0, 2.0 or 1.0 computers with a USB-C to A cable.

The CalDigit Tuff and Tuff RAID will be available summer 2015.


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