Yesterday the new SuperSpeed USB standard, USB 3.0, took another step closer to becoming a reality for consumers as the USB Implementers Forum announced the availability of its compliance and certification program. Interested companies can register for testing on USB-IF's site.

Those products that pass the tests will carry a SuperSpeed USB logo that promises interoperability with existing USB 2.0 products and the 3.0 improvements, naturally. Announced as far back as 2007, the next-gen interface is expected to provide users with up to 5Gbps transfer speeds, or roughly ten times the speed of USB 2.0. Unfortunately, USB 3.0 devices are not expected to reach its full potential at launch, with speeds probably reaching only 1.2Gbps initially and improving as the standard matures.

Hardware featuring SuperSpeed USB should arrive towards the end of the year -- we already saw a USB 3.0-packing motherboard from Asus back in July but it reportedly got canceled shortly thereafter. Widespread adoption is still far off, however. According to estimates from research firm IDC, the new standard is expected to grab 30 percent of the USB market share by 2013.