10 Gbps USB transfer speeds are a step closer following completion of the new specification by the USB 3.0 Promoter Group.

First floated back in January and now going under the moniker of SuperSpeed USB 3.1, the specification promises a doubling of throughput performance compared to USB 3.0.

"The USB 3.1 specification primarily extends existing USB 3.0 protocol and hub operation for speed scaling along with defining the next higher physical layer speed as 10 Gbps," says Brad Saunders, USB 3.0 Promoter Group Chairman.

The announcement enables vendors to begin the work of incorporating support for USB 3.1 into their chip designs and while there is no definite time-frame for the arrival of USB 3.1, it's expected that these devices will start appearing on the market late in 2014.

While the predicted USB 3.1 transfer speed matches existing Thunderbolt technology at 10 Gbps, Thunderbolt has four lanes, so connect four Thunderbolt devices and technically you’re capable of transferring data at a rate of 40 Gbps.

Thunderbolt2 is also on the way with Intel recently announcing that it will become available by the end of the year with transfer speeds of up to 20 Gbps.

One definite advantage that USB has over its rival is that its use is far more widespread, and the boost in speed will certainly be welcomed by consumers. Whatever way you look at it, the future looks bright for transfer speed demons.