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Intel, HP, MS form USB 3.0 group, tout 10x speeds

updated 02:15 am EDT, Wed September 19, 2007

USB 3.0 group at Intel IDF

Intel, HP and Microsoft on Tuesday announced the new USB 3.0 Promoter Group. The new marketing and development alliance is designed to create a new personal desktop connectivity standard that can deliver over 10 times the speed of the current USB 2.0 standard. Also being supported by NEC, NXP Semiconductors and Texas Instruments, the technology will target fast sync-and-go transfer applications in the PC, consumer and mobile segments and will accommodate the growing need for standard digital connectivity and file size of approaching 25GB. The USB 3.0 standard, expected to be completed in the first half of next year, will be backward compatible with current USB products and will draw from the same architecture of wired USB. Intel said the group is "committed to preserving the existing USB device class driver infrastructure and investment, look-and-feel and ease-of-use of USB while continuing to expand this great technology's capabilities."

In addition, the USB 3.0 specification will be optimized for low power and improved protocol efficiency, according to Intel, and both ports and cabling will be designed to enable backward compatibility. Intel says it expects that the technology will also allow for future optical capabilities.

"USB 3.0 is the next logical step for the PC's most popular wired connectivity," said Jeff Ravencraft, technology strategist with Intel and president of the USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF). "The digital era requires high-speed performance and reliable connectivity to move the enormous amounts of digital content now present in everyday life. USB 3.0 will meet this challenge while maintaining the ease-of-use experience that users have come to love and expect from any USB technology."

The USB-IF, previously formed to provide support and development resources for USB standards, is expected to act as the trade association for the USB 3.0 specification and the first implementations of USB 3.0 will likely be in the form of discrete silicon, according to Intel.

by MacNN Staff




  1. danviento

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Let's just hope...

    ...they change the connector. Other industry standards such as firewire or SATA don't have the problem of not being able to tell which way is up when you plug in their connector. Besides that, I've always had issues with large data transfers with even USB 2.0, even collisions that make for erroneous copied data. a

    This is one one of the pleathora of reasons why video transfer standards utilize firewire, SATA, or a more proprietary connector. It doesn't matter whether it's 4 or 6 pin firewire 400, or 800, they pretty much always end up beating current USB hands down for performance. Let's just say I was unhappy when Apple stopped shipping firewire cables with their peripherals. What's more, the iPods can't utilize the old firewire cables (firmware disabled). I guess they figured they had to lower THEIR standards when they wanted to be a player for peripherals in the windoze world.

  1. fashizzle

    Joined: Dec 1969


    FW should up the ante

    USB is not peerless, and that's why Firewire trumps it (even FW 400 vs. USB 2.0). If USB 3.0 was to become a peerless I/O, Firewire would be toasted. So where's the next iteration of Firewire?! Bring it on, FW 1600! (don't know if FW800 currently saturates the bandwidth of modern devices).

  1. hayesk

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: let's just hope

    I don't think it's because the firmware is disabled on the iPods, it's that the firewire controller chip is just not there.

    Yes, Firewire actually delivers promised speeds, unlike USB 2, and it far more reliable. However, USB 2 is cheap - and that's why it's on more devices.

    If USB 3 is more reliable and delivers on its promised speeds, that I don't really care if it toasts Firewire. I just want an easy to use, high speed, reliable connection technology. It doesn't have to be invented by Apple as long as it works well.

  1. bmn

    Joined: Dec 1969



    The 1394 Trade Association announced its new S3200 specification, which uses the existing cables and connectors already deployed for FireWire 800 products in order to make for a faster transition to the new speed. The new spec known as S3200 preserves all the advantages from existing firewire 800 or 1394b including the peer-to-peer protocol, bus-powered capability even with works the same cable and connector. One major different is major performance boost with S3200 will hit 3.2 Gigabits Per Second comparable to USB 3.0, which will use a combination of copper wire and fibre optic to provide transfer rates of 4.8 gigabits a second, 10 times faster than the current USB 2.0 standard.

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