First USB 3.0 Devices On Show
by Simon Hill

USB 3 logoWe’ve known that SuperSpeed USB 3.0 was in the pipeline for a while now but the first products have now been certified. Some of them were on show at the Intel Developer Conference this week. The products weren’t expected to hit the stores until early next year but some companies are predictably battling to rush them out in time for Christmas. So what’s the big deal?

USB 3.0 offers a massive upgrade over USB 2.0. The speed is ten times faster than USB 2.0 so instead of 480 Mbps we’ll be getting 4.8 Gbps. That means you could transfer an HD movie in seconds. Not only does the new standard support faster speeds it also allows for two way traffic, so you could read and write from portable storage at the same time. When it comes to power the new USB 3.0 standard can deliver more than its predecessor so you’ll be able to charge more devices via a hub or just recharge faster.

point grey cameraAt the Intel Developer Forum they showed off a high definition camera streaming uncompressed 1080p footage through a USB 3.0 cable. It was developed by Point Grey Research and Fresco Logic. The first host controller to support USB 3.0 has already been made available by NEC. It is officially certified and supports two USB 3.0 devices. There are no devices to use with it yet but the new standard is backwards compatible so you can use USB 2.0 devices.

Fujitsu have also been working with the new standard and they have already announced a SATA bridge chip. They are expected to release a range of laptops supporting USB 3.0 very soon. No one seems sure about how quickly the new standard will replace the old but we can expect to see lots of new products supporting USB 3.0 in the New Year.

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