USB 3.0 Spec Finalised

Wow, it's fast!

While the USB 3.0 specification (a.k.a. “SuperSpeed”) was already detailed back in August, it wasn’t officially finalised. Now, however, it is and that means we can rest easy knowing that our dreams of 4.8Gb/s transfers will soon be realised.

Okay, soon is a bit of an exaggeration as we’re unlikely to see devices using the standard until late 2009 or early 2010. Given the performance figures the wait should be worth it. Real-world testing has a 25GB HD video file transfer in some 70 seconds – a sustained speed of 2.8Gb/s. That’s what I call impressive!

USB 3.0 is also unsurprisingly backwards compatible with previous standards, although quite how anyone could cope with the drop from gigabit to megabyte per second transfer rates is beyond me. USB 3.0 also allows larger power draws as well as smaller tweaks, such as a more advanced device-to-device communication protocol, too. In a word, it’s just plain better.

It’s not all good news though. The long delay in getting the spec ratified and out the door has led to some reluctance in support from many would-be-adopters. Microsoft, for example, has apparently decided not to support USB 3.0 in Windows 7 – out of the box, at least.

USB press release (PDF).

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