TechSpot: What You Need To Know About USB 3.0

The Universal Serial Bus standard has come a long way since its introduction in 1996. Backed by a consortium of companies led by Intel, Compaq and Microsoft, it offered some unheard-of features for its time, including the ability to connect peripherals without turning off the computer first and to draw power without a separate AC connection. The standard became popular with the arrival of version 1.1 in late 1998, allowing a maximum transfer rate of 12Mb/s, and as we can witness nowadays just about any device comes standard with 'Hi-Speed' USB 2.0 connectivity.

USB 3.0 is the next major revision of the ubiquitous interface. Dubbed SuperSpeed USB, this new version promises a tenfold leap forward in transfer speeds as well as improved capabilities, all while maintaining compatibility with USB 2.0 devices. In the following few paragraphs we've rounded out all the relevant information that you as a consumer should know about the next-generation USB standard.

View: What You Need To Know About USB 3.0

These articles are brought to you in partnership with TechSpot

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Microsoft confirms Windows Mobile 6.5.3 release

Next Story

Microsoft working on Xbox LIVE for next-gen Windows Mobile

31 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

well to me even though i am sure USB v3.0 will be nice, it's not like USB v2.0 is ancient at this time because 60MB/s is still pretty good for external stuff. going from USB 1.1 speeds (i.e. about 1MB/s) to USB v2.0 (i.e. 60MB/s) is a HUGE leap forward as far as time savings on transferring data in general, where as i don't see going from 2.0 to 3.0 all that much of a boost in the real world unless you got LOTS of data to transfer all the time on external devices plus is there really any devices that can actually get a big boost out there right now besides SSD stuff? ... because to my knowledge most hard drives ain't that much over 60MB/s in transfer speeds. (i think my 1TB hard drive peaks around 100MB/s tops)

most desktop HDDs are faster than this, my new HDD in my laptop has a read speed of about 70MB/s and that's a 5400RPM drive. The 7200RPM ones push 90.

Granted this is the only time i used it, USB 3.0 would have saved me tons of time when i had to backup 50GB of data to my USB 2.0 WD MyBook drive then copy it back my new 320GB SATA 3.0Gbps laptop drive. That process took over 1hr to complete.

(yes i know i could have just cloned the drive and use other methods )

SHoTTa35 said,
most desktop HDDs are faster than this, my new HDD in my laptop has a read speed of about 70MB/s and that's a 5400RPM drive. The 7200RPM ones push 90.

Thats also assuming you are writing direct to the HDD and no caching is being performed in the memory when copying whatever.

Scrap USB 3.0, if Light Peak really works as advertise, ( That is able to bent well without breaking the fibre inside ) then we should finally use Light Peak for everything, Since it is enough to replace all port including Display Port.

I thought so too, but I really don't know what's involved in developing a standard and getting full scale adoption secured... Sounds time consuming to me...

im just pleased that it now works on interrupts for data transfer and not polling and that it's bi-directional. Those would even be a boon on USB2.0 speeds.

I like Mini USB and would prefer ALL handheld devices to use this (Sony Ericsson is a bugger for that!), while all printers and such should use the usual USB size.

Would make things a hell of a lot easier - especially as most hand held units don't come with wall chargers these days!

Simon said,
Most handhelds are using Micro USB now, it's been chosen as a standard for charging iirc.

Yeah. Which I can't wait for. The date for full adoption was 2012 I think though which isn't idea. Unless I am just recalling incorrectly.

hardgiant said,
Better to use Sata 600, twice as fast as USB 3.0 in real world tests.

SATA isn't going to be any good for connecting your DV camcorder up though is it? SATA and USB are different interfaces for different things.

Also, SATA600 currently offers no real-world benefits over SATA300 with today's drives.

Phemo said,
SATA isn't going to be any good for connecting your DV camcorder up though is it? SATA and USB are different interfaces for different things.

Also, SATA600 currently offers no real-world benefits over SATA300 with today's drives.

Yes it does...SSD's are already limited by SATA300

V9s said,

Yes it does...SSD's are already limited by SATA300

SSD's right now are limited by their controllers... there are a lot of crappy controller chips out there right now

Shame Intel has postponed the compatibility with their motherboards! USB3 nowadays with such big data trasnfers becomes a must!

We need to jump sooner to a "one wire" standard....

I remember seeing a cable/standard that could transfer power and data and allow anything to be daisy chained in a room (even lights etc.) and compatible devices just recognised each other. Effectively allowing anything to be put anywhere in a house and plugged either into a wall socket or other device then a TV would recognise all TV devices. This would be fantastic, maybe 20 years off though!

lt8480 said,
We need to jump sooner to a "one wire" standard....

I remember seeing a cable/standard that could transfer power and data and allow anything to be daisy chained in a room (even lights etc.) and compatible devices just recognised each other. Effectively allowing anything to be put anywhere in a house and plugged either into a wall socket or other device then a TV would recognise all TV devices. This would be fantastic, maybe 20 years off though!

Military uses stuff like this, called J1939

Shadow Dragon said,
Sounds like a power hazard though.

I bet it's less of a power hazard than my full monster power bar behind my media center, that's plugged into a 6-way plug splitter on the wall, which is also full.

The electrical system in my house was designed for one, maybe two energy sucking appliances (a TV and a Stereo, on different outlets).

They didn't count on a TV, Wii, XBox 360, Media Center PC, Cablemodem, Router, Amp, Subwoofer, External Hard Disk, Another External Hard Disk, A Powered USB Hub... and a standing lamp.

So the "one wire" thing sounds pretty good to me.

cyberdrone2000 said,
I bet it's less of a power hazard than my full monster power bar behind my media center, that's plugged into a 6-way plug splitter on the wall, which is also full.

The electrical system in my house was designed for one, maybe two energy sucking appliances (a TV and a Stereo, on different outlets).

They didn't count on a TV, Wii, XBox 360, Media Center PC, Cablemodem, Router, Amp, Subwoofer, External Hard Disk, Another External Hard Disk, A Powered USB Hub... and a standing lamp.

So the "one wire" thing sounds pretty good to me.

Thing is, with a proper power splitter, you would be protected, however with one long daisy chained setup, if you were to disconnect the first device and then re-connect it, there would be huge amounts of electricity flowing through the contacts, and no outlets or devices today are designed to handle that kind of power.