USB 3.0 doubling up to a super ‘SuperSpeed' of 10 Gbps

USB 3.0 was first announced in November 2008. Taking the existing USB 2.0 specs and hurtling past them at a nippy 5 Gbps was a long time coming, considering USB 2.0 was released in April 2000. So, if you’re one of the lucky people that have a USB 3.0 capable device, would you notice another 5 Gbps speed bump?


USB 2.0 (left) versus the delightful blue of USB 3.0 (right)

That’s what the USB 3.0 Promoter Group has announced at CES, taking the current ‘SuperSpeed’ of 5 Gbps to 10 Gbps. While the specification is not complete, that’s due to happen by the middle of 2013, expect the pre-release industry reviews to start to filter to the Internet from February 7th onwards.

The key features of the higher-rate USB 3.0 solution include:

  • 10 Gbps USB data rate
  • Uses existing cables and connectors
  • Improved data encoding for more efficient data transfer leading to higher through-put and improved I/O power efficiency
  • Compatible with existing USB 3.0 software stacks and device class protocols
  • Compatible with existing 5 Gbps and new 10 Gbps USB 3.0 hubs and devices, as well as USB 2.0 products

Intel is fully behind the next generation of USB connectivity, with Alex Peleg, VP of the Intel Architecture Group commenting:

We recognize that more mainstream client computing applications are going to need higher through-put to user-connected peripherals and devices. Intel is fully committed to delivering 10 Gbps USB performance to these platforms while retaining compatibility with the existing USB ecosystem to help to satisfy user demand for low-cost, higher-performance solutions.

Microsoft has also given their opinion on the advances in the technology, with Dennis Flanagan, General Manager of the Windows Ecosystem Engagement adding to Intel’s stance:

Microsoft has been a strong supporter of the USB community where we have advocated balancing innovation and compatibility. The planned updates to USB 3.0 are consistent with our views. These updates will enable higher data rates and allow combining of disk, high-definition audio/video and networking traffic on a single cable — all while maintaining compatibility with billions of existing devices.

When the new speed will start to show in consumer devices is yet to be seen, but as the plans, design and testing is at what appears to be an advanced stage, it shouldn’t be too long before the 2nd generation of USB3.0 devices start tearing up the data highways!

Source: Business Wire | Image courtesy of Bit-Tech

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Probably not. The integrated graphics cores on the new i series intel chips and AMD processors would take that slack up.

A pure USB driven monitor would need some type of graphics chip. Turning code into pixels isn't trivial.

They should change this to USB 3.1 at least. Would make things a lot easier when searching for a product (motherboards)

Still got that awful connector.

They could've just called it USB 3.5 to avoid confusion.

I'd rather see Thunderbolt become THE interface for external devices.

Thunderbolt needs to be more mainstream. Shame that it may continue to exist as an enterprise level technology.

USB is good for dumb devices; thunderbolt can do some really crazy stuff, of which I am super excited about, though completely lack the budget for. (http://www.magma.com/thunderbolt)

DAOWAce said,
Thunderbolt needs to be more mainstream. Shame that it may continue to exist as an enterprise level technology.

USB is good for dumb devices; thunderbolt can do some really crazy stuff, of which I am super excited about, though completely lack the budget for. (http://www.magma.com/thunderbolt)


Preach it.
If only prices came to lower a bit.

It's been out there long enough... What is this? Usually in tech world stuff that's over a year old degrades in financial value substantially, yet I still cannot afford (or can't justify) TB hardware.

My external drives are connected to USB 2.0 and it's getting REALLY annoying.

GS:mac

It is just additional 'speed mode' in USB 3.0, not a new standard. It is exactly the same thing you got with USB 1.1 (two speed modes using one standard)

USB 1.1 - two modes: Full Speed (12 Mbit/s), Low Speed (1,5 Mbit/s)
USB 2.0 - one Hi-Speed mode (480 Mbit/s)
USB 3.0 - SuperSpeed (5 Gbit/s), and now additional mode (HyperSpeed?) at 10 Gbit

USB 2.0 support also a "low speed" mode.

And no, this is not the same thing because when USB 1.0 (final spec) came out, it supported both modes. Same thing for USB 2.0

But this is different.

* Ahem....1950's TV Salesman voice* USB 3.0....Backing up your porn collection just before your girlfriend opens the door. With this bold new revision, have complete and utter confidence that every data transfer will have a "happy ending".

10gbps using existing cables is wonderful! At first a part of thought when reading this article that it would use optical fibres, my faith in copper cable has been restored Can't wait for this spec to be finalised and 8 port support to be added to intel's chips, will be many years i'm sure.

Fact about copper: they can carry electrical signals at just over 96% the speed of light, there is literally no reason to use fibre optic cable at the moment as we are no where near the maximum efficiency of copper!!

There's a little something called attenuation that affects copper much more than fiber optic cables. That's why fiber optic cables can be significantly longer than copper cables.

Rosyna said,
There's a little something called attenuation that affects copper much more than fiber optic cables. That's why fiber optic cables can be significantly longer than copper cables.

They also cant be bend and squeezed as much as copper cables, not by a long shot.
On the 1meter USB cables used on average, some 1,5, maybe 2. Copper is more then sufficient and allot more durable.

Seems weird to me that there's mention of stuff faster than USB3, and then this new USB3 or whatever it will end up being called, when there are very few devices or computers for that matter that even are/have USB3 as it is.
So many computers still have only USB2 ports and most devices are still USB2 and the speed of USB3 is incredible compared to USB2. USB2 is just a tiny fraction of the speed.

USB3 has been out for about a couple of years, and although it was only available for top tier PCs at first, it's now available with a wider range of PCs and accessories.

Yep, I know that.
What I'm getting at, is seeing that it's been out so long, why is it taking so long for USB3 devices to hit the market in a bigger way, and there's still computers, laptops, and tablets being released with just USB2.
And like I mentioned with Staples, which is a huge electronics store, and they don't even have USB3 Hubs, and say not for at least 6 more months.
My Ultrabook has USB3 and all my devices are, but they're all new.

And it doesn't help the fact that alot of socalled USB 2.0 devices actually run at USB 1.1 speeds even when connected to an USB 2.0 port point in case


Device Properties Value
Device Description Microsoft Mouse and Keyboard Detection Driver (USB)
Device ID 045E-00F9
Device Class 03 / 01 (Human Interface Device)
Device Protocol 01
Manufacturer Microsft
Product Microsoft Wireless Desktop Receiver 3.1
Supported USB Version 2.00
Current Speed Low (USB 1.1)<<<<<< WTF MS

Athlonite said,
And it doesn't help the fact that alot of socalled USB 2.0 devices actually run at USB 1.1 speeds even when connected to an USB 2.0 port point in case


Device Properties Value
Device Description Microsoft Mouse and Keyboard Detection Driver (USB)
Device ID 045E-00F9
Device Class 03 / 01 (Human Interface Device)
Device Protocol 01
Manufacturer Microsft
Product Microsoft Wireless Desktop Receiver 3.1
Supported USB Version 2.00
Current Speed Low (USB 1.1)<<<<<< WTF MS


Like a keyboard or mouse can take any benefit from USB2.0 speeds. These are mere bytes of data we're talking about. Not even kilobytes.

just got back my toshiba laptop from the toshiba repair shop. I noticed right way that there seems to be a marker as to the usb 3.0 I noticed when i got it back. I have 1 USB 3,.0 port on this laptop. I move my periph's to the 2.0 and will save my 3.0 for a worthy peripheral.

it also has the blue plastic inside as the picture shows

That's the reason why I got a USB3 Hub, I too only have 1 USB3 port, so now all my devices which are USB3, are plugged into the hub, then to my laptop.
The other laptop port I have is USB2 which I have the unifying receiver plugged in.

It's "SuperSpeed" USB 3.0

Which should really be called USB "4" or something different to not confuse people. -_-

What are they going to call this one? HyperSpeed? It needs to take a different name to make the difference clear IMO.
I hate the fact that I'm stuck with a 1.1 hub on my keyboard, so slooooow. Time to mod the sh*t out of it and make it a newer hub. I just hate the fact that these 3.0 ports have 5 more pins and different connectors than the 1.1/2.0. Going to be a b*tch to solder those onto a veroboard.

You love to mod? Otherwise I see no point to continue using the ports on the keyboard - much easier to just use the other USB ports on the computer itself, or get a separate USB hub that supports the faster speeds (if you're using the keyboard ports because the computer's ports are not easily accessible).

I'm a bit confused is this a new generation of USB devices ie USB 3.1 or 4.0 or is this just an update to the specification which will allow for greater data throughput? Either way it's good that they are constantly working to improve data transfer mediums that are compatible with older systems and don't require completely new connection ports.

On a sidenote can I point out that thunderbolt is pretty much a massive fail.

ingramator said,
I'm a bit confused is this a new generation of USB devices ie USB 3.1 or 4.0 or is this just an update to the specification which will allow for greater data throughput? Either way it's good that they are constantly working to improve data transfer mediums that are compatible with older systems and don't require completely new connection ports.

On a sidenote can I point out that thunderbolt is pretty much a massive fail.

Thunderbolt I feel is headed the direction of firewire. It has STRONG potential but it isn't marketed as much as USB. Sure it achieves incredible bandwidth and is full-duplex but to the average customer so what?!

What needs to be done is to show real world differences of Thunderbolt vs USB 3.0. SATA maxes out at 6GBps which Thunderbolt doesn't even break a sweat even for RAID0 SSDs. If somehow there is a public display of this (marketing experts unite) then Thunderbolt will be adopted vastly, will get cheaper, and will squash USB 3.0 like a bug or realistically compete.

ingramator said,
I'm a bit confused is this a new generation of USB devices ie USB 3.1 or 4.0 or is this just an update to the specification which will allow for greater data throughput? Either way it's good that they are constantly working to improve data transfer mediums that are compatible with older systems and don't require completely new connection ports.

On a sidenote can I point out that thunderbolt is pretty much a massive fail.

I don't think its right to actually compare them, i mean sure there is some function overlap but thunderbolt passes PCIe and displayport over itself which provides far more options.

of course for single external disks and std peripherals usb 3.0 is perfect. But you start to make high speed RAID arrays and want to daisychain to a display, or have external graphics cards etc. Then thunderbolt wins.

they can and should both live in harmony, and people need to stop confusing their functions.

As I said above USB 3 and Thunderbolt really serve different purposes. Thunderbolt effectively extends the PCI bus over cables. Thunderbolt goes up to 20 Gbps two direction (http://global-sei.com/news/press/12/prs105_s.html), has lower CPU usage, and can be used to connect displays.

USB 3.0 is really great for external data storage.

I guess that's the reason why the latest iMac an MacBook Pro have both USB 3 and Thunderbolt ports (as well as FireWire 800 ports for the latter).

Don't get me wrong, its great at what it's designed to do but the deal apple has with Intel over exclusivity to cable length etc and slow/no adoption by motherboard makers/pc manufacturers. The average consumer does not care about the fact they can theoretically achieve greater speed all they care about is that things will work and work across all their devices.

We may great them as completely different things but to the consumer thunderbolt doesn't even exist.

ingramator said,
I'm a bit confused is this a new generation of USB devices ie USB 3.1 or 4.0 or is this just an update to the specification which will allow for greater data throughput? Either way it's good that they are constantly working to improve data transfer mediums that are compatible with older systems and don't require completely new connection ports.

On a sidenote can I point out that thunderbolt is pretty much a massive fail.

Thunderbolt is a niche to replace Firewire along with allowing PCIe cards to be hooked up using a external case so then you can have high end equipment on laptop via a Thunderbolt rather than compromised crappy consumer grade stuff. With that being said, most users will never use it - heck, for the year I had a Mac I never once used it primarily because the cost of Thunderbolt hardware was so high - it just simply out of reach for most people.

Only external data? What about pulling serial information? USB is more than HDD's! You have printers & scanners not to mention debugging lots of data on big development boards and syncing media (phones etc)

You're right about thunderbolt but USB is a hell of a lot more than mass storage. Heck I don't even know half the things you can actually use it for

Damn that's fast. Just the jump from USB2 to USB3 now is absolutely phenomenal.
And I just started building up my USB3 collection.
And it's hard enough finding USB3 devices as it is.
Bought a 4 Port USB3 HUB for 50 bucks at London Drugs, luckily they had one since I was told at Staples they didn't have any and wouldn't for at least 6 months cuz USB3 technology is too new. Go figure.

LUTZIFER said,
Damn that's fast. Just the jump from USB2 to USB3 now is absolutely phenomenal.

I'd like to see better, it should have been this speed from the start. ThunderBolt (created by Intel) is faster right now, and will increase further in the future.

A good SSD can easily be speed/bandwidth limited by current USB 3.0 @ 5Gbps. 10Gbps will stop that happening, for a while atleast, depending on when this is actually available. And thats the main problem, when is this available?

It took USB 3.0 @ 5Gbps (well, 4.8Gbps to be exact) ages to appear after it was finalized. If it takes this new standard about 3 years to appear then by the time it's out it wont be fast enough for SSD's again. Which are only going to get cheaper, faster and more popular. Things like external SSD's drives will be quite common in a few years, so they may have to use something like ThunderBolt instead.

My next FD(s) will be usb 3.0. i got a ton of usb 2.0 and one pc has usb 3 ports. but i see no need to rush to adopt usb 3 for a time. I prefer to wait, especially when the prices go down.

mattmatik said,
How do existing 3.0 hubs get updated to SS? Is it just a software/firmware update?

Quoted! I feel a bit ripped off after seeing this and busting my butt financially to build a Core i7 3770k machine coming from an Athlon 64!

It's more than just a software upgrade according to this CNet article.

To take advantage of the double-speed USB 3.0 interface, devices such as computers, hubs, and digital cameras will need new USB controller hardware. However, the new version of USB 3.0 uses the same connectors, so existing USB devices can be plugged into the higher-speed ports.

USB 3.0 cables may or may not work. "Existing SuperSpeed USB cables are not certified to operate at 10 Gbps; it is possible that some existing SuperSpeed USB cables may be capable of operating at 10 Gbps," the group said

http://news.cnet.com/8301-1793...sb-3.0-to-arrive-next-year/

Hollywood's Karo said,

Quoted! I feel a bit ripped off after seeing this and busting my butt financially to build a Core i7 3770k machine coming from an Athlon 64!


The obvious solution if you need it:
Buy a PCIe upgrade card....when they're available. This says it isn't until 2014.

Hollywood's Karo said,

Quoted! I feel a bit ripped off after seeing this and busting my butt financially to build a Core i7 3770k machine coming from an Athlon 64!


In all fairness, this is exactly what happens when you build a top of the line computer at any point in history: by the time it's assembled, it's been surpassed.

It doesn't make it obsolete. It'll take years for accessories to hit mass market that take advantage of technology that launches today. Even after all the time regular USB3 has been out, very few things take advantage of it, and what does is grossly overpriced.

If you really want to feel bad, wait a week and go look at video cards again.