Coming in 2008: USB 3.0 specifications

Coming in 2008: USB 3.0 specifications

Summary: Intel, along with other technology heavyweights, have formed a group to promote USB 3.0 with plans to deliver a specification in the first half of 2008.

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TOPICS: Hardware, Intel
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Intel, along with other technology heavyweights, have formed a group to promote USB 3.0 with plans to deliver a specification in the first half of 2008.

The group, which was announced at the Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco, includes HP, Microsoft, NEC, NXP Semiconductors and Texas Instruments. USB 3.0 is designed to deliver transfer rates 10 times the speed of a connection today.

According to Intel, USB 3.0 "will target fast sync-and-go transfer applications in the PC, consumer and mobile segments that are necessary as digital media become ubiquitous and file sizes increase up to and beyond 25 Gigabytes."

USB 3.0 will reach these fast speeds by using fiber-optic wiring instead of the traditional copper variety. USB 3.0 will also be backward compatible.

Stephen Shankland, who interviewed Pat Gelsinger, general manager of Intel's Digital Enterprise Group, reports that there is generally a one to two year lag from the time a standard is formed to actually making it inside a PC. Based on that timeline, USB 3.0 will be coming to a PC near you in 2009 or 2010.

Topics: Hardware, Intel

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4 comments
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  • YAY!!

    Faster transfer speeds!.. my iriver will thank you.. oh wait.. it wont be v3! FARK!

    Guess everyone will have to buy new devices again :(
    Been_Done_Before
    • it's backward compatible

      so you won't need new devices. :)
      I'm wondering how it stacks against eSATA or other transfer technologies.
      They should release it sooner rather thhan later since downloading pictures from a camera already takes forever.
      And don't forget the Linux drivers!
      Linux Geek
      • Apples and Oranges ...

        USB is a general purpose data transfer protocol that has been adapted for mass storage. When used for mass storage it has drawbacks that are unrelated to transfer speed. USB is an ethernet like protocol. USB is cheap.

        Firewire is a mass storage data transfer protocol that has been adapted for other uses, primarily video. Firewire lacks flexibility when applied to general purpose uses. Firewire is a SCSI like protocol. Firewire is expensive.

        SATA is a mass storage data transfer protocol that is part of the ATA family (there is SCSI variant - SAS). It is highly specialized for mass storage and is not used for anything else. It is very fast, but least flexible of these three major standards. SATA is cheap, SAS expensive.

        The speed of ALL of these protocols is essentially limited by the bandwidth available over the hardwire connection. Everyone of them can be upgraded to much higher speeds with fiber. SATA/SAS tend to work best for mass storage, Firewire for video, and USB for everything else. Each of these protocols have their own set of limitations, features and efficiencies/inefficiencies. All of these issues have to be considered when deciding which protocol is best for a given use.

        In the case of digital cameras, I suspect that the problem, if there is one, is just as much related to flash memory performance as it is to USB limitations. For video, firewire works very well and can download video at full speed for viewing. Most video cameras use digital tape for storage, so regardless of the transfer protocol, the speed of the tape drive would be the limitation. In cases where the camera uses an internal hard drive for storage, SATA would be the best and fastest solution (4-5X faster than USB2.0). And I am sure there will be an inexpensive fiber based SATA solution available soon for even faster speeds).
        George Mitchell
  • RE: Coming in 2008: USB 3.0 specifications

    We are currently in the Integrator's List for USB 2.0. Do we have to upgrade our approval when USB 3.0 enters the market?
    Olive T. de Perio