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USB 3.0 full specs promise 10X speed boost

updated 12:25 pm EST, Mon November 17, 2008

USB 3 Final Spec

The USB 3.0 Promoter Group today revealed the full specifications for its namesake interface standard and so greenlit development of computer platforms and devices using the technology. The new peripheral format will now officially peak at 5Gbps, or about ten times faster than the 2.0 protocol. In actual tests, 25GB of data transfers in nearly 14 minutes over USB 2.0 but just 70 seconds over USB 3.0, significantly outpacing FireWire 800 as well as many hard drives.

Some of the often-cited other limits of USB versus FireWire have also been tackled in the official 3.0 release. While it consumes less power overall, the spec also lets USB 3.0 push more power from the host to an attached device and should result in fewer external hard drives or other add-ons that need a separate AC power source to run properly.

USB 3.0 is backwards-compatible with USB 2.0 hardware but won't work with USB 1.0 devices due to significant changes between the original format and its third generation, which comes more than ten years later.

Hardware that supports USB 3.0 is still distant and won't show until the second half of 2009, when device controllers that can recognize and use the format are available. End devices also aren't due until 2010.

FireWire isn't remaining static and should be upgraded to the S3200 standard ahead of USB 3.0 to provide about 3.2Gbps of bandwidth and similar power management features.



By Electronista Staff
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Comments

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001

    +1

    firewire?

    FireWire isn't remaining static and should be upgraded to the S3200 standard ahead of USB 3.0 to provide about 3.2Gbps of bandwidth and similar power management features.

    Well, that's all nice and good, except what's the chances of anyone actually implementing it?

  1. dliup

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jan 2006

    +2

    CPU usage

    And HOW MUCH cpu power would usb3 consume?

  1. Guest

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Nov 1999

    0

    Backward compatibility

    Of course, in 2009/2010 I'll still have all that USB 1.0 gear -- it hasn't failed yet and probably won't, and it still does everything I bought it for and a few things I don't care about.

  1. dimmer

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: Feb 2006

    +1

    For once

    I have to agree with testudo: FireWire is at this point legacy: Apple won't be doing anything post-FW800 and are actively depreciating even the FW400 connection.

    Guest: worst case, you get a USB 2.0 hub and connect your stuff into that. More likely, you'll see a mix of USB 2.0 and 3.0 ports on systems going forth.

  1. dimmer

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: Feb 2006

    -1

    For once

    I have to agree with testudo: FireWire is at this point legacy: Apple won't be doing anything post-FW800 and are actively depreciating even the FW400 connection.

    Guest: worst case, you get a USB 2.0 hub and connect your stuff into that. More likely, you'll see a mix of USB 2.0 and 3.0 ports on systems going forth.

    dliup: about 1/10th of one core, tops.

  1. Longwalker

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Feb 2008

    +1

    CPU usage?

    Dimmer, you wrote "dliup: about 1/10th of one core, tops." to the question of USB 3.0's CPU usage. How does that compare to FireWire? In my current experience using a mixture of FW 400 and USB 2.0 drives, I find FW much faster and less CPU-intensive, even though USB 2.0 is rated faster than FW400. Any thoughts on USB 3.0?

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001

    -6

    Re: Backward compatibilit

    What? You're complaining about backward compatibility on a Mac board? Please! Mac users don't believe in backward compatibility!

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