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For a while I thought I could distinguish between USB 2.0 and 3.0 (or 3.1 gen 1) standars from the hardware point of view. Now I am confused however, because I have noticed that my USB 3.0 hub has the additional differential pairs contacts on its male plug (device side, goes to the host) but does not have them on its 4 USB female connectors host side, goes to the devices). At first I thought that this is a fake 3.0 hub, but the USB Tree Device viewer reports the connected devices through the hub are at SuperSpeed bus. How is that possible? I also did notice that connecting such hubs in series makes the last device in the chain to nor support SuperSpeed anymore (at least this makes sense to me).

enter image description here

How is it possible that the USB 3.0 hub doesnt have the additional diff pairs for the devices and support SuperSpeed anyway?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Try tipping the connector so you can see the other surface of the "wafer" sticking out of the middle of the port. Can you see the extra contacts now? \$\endgroup\$ – The Photon Aug 5 at 18:15
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    \$\begingroup\$ There exist hubs with a USB3 Upstream port, but only USB2 Downstream ports. \$\endgroup\$ – Tom Carpenter Aug 5 at 19:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ @TomCarpenter I thought superspeed were always blue, so if these aren't 3.0 then they must be colored wrong also \$\endgroup\$ – Voltage Spike Aug 5 at 19:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ Maybe yhe tool you're using reports the speed of the hub rather than the device? Check if USB 2 devices are recognized as being USB 3 when connected to the hub. \$\endgroup\$ – Oskar Skog Aug 6 at 5:57
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The SuperSpeed pairs are 5 smaller pads toward the end of the ‘wafer’. They’re on the same side as the USB2 set of 4, and they will be visible if you tip the converter to your left as shown in your photo.

The SS connector internals aren’t necessarily blue. But if the connector is in fact SuperSpeed it should have the ‘SS+tree’ logo.

Below is an example. The five SS pads are circled in red.

enter image description here

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Indeed, the connectors in my hub were there but in order to see them, I had to bend the plastic connector inside the socket quite hard, since they were placed really deep inside the plastic. Thanks, my sanity was preserved. \$\endgroup\$ – Bremen Aug 6 at 6:53

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