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USB 3.0 around the corner?

Sep 18, 2007 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — views

Super-fast USB 3.0 technology may begin to supersede USB 2.0 in 2008. Drawing on technology developed by HP, Microsoft, NEC, NXP, Texas Instruments, and Intel, a USB 3.0 Promoter Group hopes to deliver by mid-2008 a proposed spec for backwards-compatible USB ten times faster than today's 480Mbps technology.

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The Promoter Group was spearheaded by Intel, in cooperation with the USB Implementer's Forum. The Forum is expected to serve as a “trade organization” for the new spec, presumably meaning that it would administer logo compliance testing and other marketing initiatives.

Intel says the USB 3.0 Promoter Group hopes to achieve throughputs 10 times faster than those supported by USB 2.0 technology. Other goals include greater protocol efficiency, and lower power requirements. Target applications are said to include any computing application requiring large multimedia file transfers, including PC, mobile, and consumer devices.

USB 3.0 connectors and cables will be “designed to enable backward compatibility as well as future-proofing for optical capabilities,” Intel said. USB 3.0 will also preserve “existing USB device class driver infrastructure and investment, look-and-feel, and ease-of-use,” according to the company.

USB 3.0 technology is expected to appear first in discrete silicon products, rather than being integrated into PC chipsets or SoCs (system-on-chip processors), Intel said.

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