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SuperSpeed USB 3.0

SuperSpeed USB 3.0

Background

In September 2007, the USB 3.0 Promoter Group (Intel, NXP, HP, Texas Instruments, Microsoft, and NEC) was formed to create the third major incarnation of the ubiquitous Universal Serial Bus, terming this new iteration “SuperSpeed USB.”  USB, first introduced in the mid-1990s with speeds topping out at 12Mb/s, and updated in 2000 to achieve a 480Mb/s rate, will appear on the consumer scene in 2009 with an absolutely blazing 5Gb/s signaling rate, representing more than a 10x speed increase over today’s connection.

SuperSpeed USB 3.0 will draw upon the general user-perspective architecture of USB 2.0, and in fact will co-exist with USB 2.0 on the cable and within systems, devices, hubs, and software, but under the hood, engineers will find substantially different physical and protocol layers. 

The new SuperSpeed USB technology is largely driven by the proliferation of digital media and resulting super-large file sizes, and is expected to target fast “sync-and-go” transfer applications in the PC, consumer, and mobile device markets.  Devices and applications expected to leverage the fast data transfers speed provided by SuperSpeed USB include external hard drives, flash memory products, portable media players, handheld gaming devices, and mobile devices with embedded flash memory.

New challenges for developers

Such a huge step in the technology means plenty of new challenges for developers.  The high-performance protocol, the increased speed, the aggressive power management, etc., are all aspects that will need to be mastered.

To enable early adopters of this cutting-edge technology, Ellisys has designed the industry's first SuperSpeed USB protocol test equipment, the Ellisys USB Explorer 280. Learn more »

Links

Here are a few links to pages containing a whole information range about USB.

USB 3.0 homepage
USB 3.0 specification

USB 3.0 DevCon presentations
Intel USB 3.0 technology homepage
Intel USB 3.0 Extensible Host Controller Interface (xHCI) specification
Ellisys USB Explorer 280 SuperSpeed Analyzer and Generator

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