USB 3.0-equipped PCs due before end of the year

By on July 1, 2009, 6:38 PM
Following the delivery of final specifications and first host controller samples, it appears that the SuperSpeed Universal Serial Bus standard, better known as USB 3.0, is about ready for a commercial rollout. According to a Nikkei report, Taiwanese PC vendors will be among the first to release computers equipped with the next-gen interface, which promises up to 5Gbps transfer speeds, or roughly ten times the speed of USB 2.0.

Citing rapid development in integrated circuits and the shipment of compliant controllers to PC manufacturers, the website claims the first USB 3.0-compatible PCs could appear by the end of the year, with 2010 seeing the start of a mass rollout. External storage is the likely first application of this technology. Unfortunately, USB 3.0 devices are not expected to reach its full potential at launch, with speeds probably reaching only 1.2Gbps initially. This is expected to improve as the standard matures though, as it was the case with its predecessor, paving the way for stuff like HD video streaming or backing up gigabytes of data in mere seconds.




User Comments: 11

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Route44 Route44, TechSpot Ambassador, said:

Wow! And can you imagine the cost of first generation flash drives to take advantage of the 3.0?

Darth Shiv Darth Shiv said:

Rout44 - startup cost is always there... who cares? Once it starts going mainstream costs drop dramatically anyway.

OneArmedScissor said:

I don't mean to rain on the parade, but much as is the case with SATA III, it sounds cool until you stop and consider the not-so-mysterious absence of devices on the way that could potentially use the increased bandwidth.

The storage medium, whether HDD or SSD, is still the weakest link, just as is the case with SATA/eSATA.

Every time I see "USB 3.0" written somewhere, I start to think about how nice it would be to copy bazillions of GBs in an instant, but that's a ways down the road for it to be truly advantageous, even for SSDs.

raybay said:

Yes, thank you, OneArmedScissor.

The enemy of good is better.

red1776 red1776, Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe, said:

I don't mean to rain on the parade, but much as is the case with SATA III, it sounds cool until you stop and consider the not-so-mysterious absence of devices on the way that could potentially use the increased bandwidth.

The storage medium, whether HDD or SSD, is still the weakest link, just as is the case with SATA/eSATA.

Every time I see "USB 3.0" written somewhere, I start to think about how nice it would be to copy bazillions of GBs in an instant, but that's a ways down the road for it to be truly advantageous, even for SSDs.

that's true oneArmed, but doesn't the chicken or the egg have to come first? I know what your saying and it is down the road, however, its kinda like saying that before turntables were invented, people used to sit around with their albums wishing someone would invent the record player?

@ Raybay, what does your quote mean? do you disapprove of furthering USB, and think that a new transfer architecture is in order?

OneArmedScissor said:

I agree that it's nice that to have it ready to go beforehand, but I think it's extremely misleading that the way it's already been hyped up for months is by showing off that it can transfer 25GB in 70 seconds, and things of that nature. That would take two fast SSDs in RAID, or a very large array of HDDs. Neither of those scenarios make a lick of sense for the application.

Affordable, somewhat decent size, USB 3.0 SSDs will be a possibility within two more generations from where SSDs are now, but even when we get there, people are probably still going to be wondering where their 350MB/s is, and that's still pretty much only half of the maximum bandwidth.

It's great that they gave it so much headroom, but that's nearly all USB 3.0's "speed" amounts to. I guess it just irks me that it's already being overstated by so much, when it isn't even available. That makes me wonder how outlandish the advertising is going to get when it's actually here...

tengeta tengeta said:

I have had no USB 2.0 device live up to its ports full speed, I have no reason to believe USB 3 would be any different.

Staff
Rick Rick, TechSpot Staff, said:

I have had no USB 2.0 device live up to its ports full speed, I have no reason to believe USB 3 would be any different.

... Although even if it is terribly inefficient, it is still easily faster than any practical consumer data device out there: even if you half it.

5Gbps = 596 MiB/s

TJGeezer said:

Isn't the "enemy of good" supposed to be "good enough"? At least that would apply to this discussion, if you grant that USB 3.0 is "good". But if it's mostly hype, as many here seem to feel, it isn't even particularly relevant, except maybe as a wishful target for storage technology. I gotta think the skeptics make a good argument.

Guest said:

@onearmedscissor

Actually, that's incorrect; USB 2.0 is the bottleneck and even conventional hard drives are capable of much faster transfer speeds.

Badfinger said:

What the hell took so long for this?

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