5 Hidden Facts about USB 3.0 SuperSpeed!

By · Monday, November 15th, 2010

5 Hidden Facts about USB 3.0 SuperSpeed!USB 3.0 has been publicized all over the internet, including several articles here, and more and more people are starting to familiarize themselves with this upgraded technology. USB 3.0 promises to be 10X faster than 2.0, lower power consumption, while providing more bus power to energy hungry devices; like an iPad for example. But what you may not read about are some of the hidden facts about USB 3.0 and how they will impact the market.

Below are 5 Hidden Facts about USB 3.0

1. Cord Length: With the introduction of USB 3.0, there have been several modifications to the cord itself. One such change is the length. A USB 2.0 cord can be up to 5 (16.2 feet) meters long, this number has been changed to just 3 (10 feet) meters with a USB 3.0 cord. The reason for this change is because USB 3.0 runs on a higher frequency than USB 2.0 and physics states that higher frequencies travel shorter distances. This unfortunately means that in order to reach some destinations with USB 3.0 technology, you will have to put in a USB 3.0 extensions. The extensions could be an active cable line, or simply an extender box, but either way in order to accommodate longer distances, you will have to spend more on cabling.

2. New Hardware: USB 3.0 is relatively new, and with new technology comes new hardware. USB 3.0 is backwards compatible and will work in a USB 2.0 interface, but to truly take advantage of the USB 3.0 performance increase users will have to buy USB 3.0 cords, a USB 3.0 motherboard or add-on card. Unfortunately this also means that many users may even need to buy a new computer case with USB 3.0 ports even if they buy the other equipment. Needless to say, users will have to pay for the performance increase.

3. Adoption Rate: The rate at which consumers are adopting USB 3.0 technology seems to be sufficient given the fact that it has only been out on the market for about a year. Multiple manufactures have begun producing USB 3.0 hardware, and the adoption rate only continues to climb. However, due to the lack of demand from the majority of computer users and the lack of backing from major manufactures such as Intel, it is foreseeable that USB 3.0 mainstream adoption probably will not happen until 2011 or 2012. Once prices fall, and the main manufactures back the technology, expect to see USB 3.0 adoption increase dramatically.

4. Peripherals Won’t Use 3.0: Peripherals such as keyboards and mice will probably never use USB 3.0 technology. Most mice on the market still use USB 1.1 specifications due to the fact that it does not need to use 3.0. Peripherals simply do not transfer enough information to justify the implementation. However, video streaming or webcams will more than likely jump on 3.0 as USB 3.0 allows them to transfer high amounts of data seamlessly. This would increase the quality of the video as well as allow the option for HD video.

5. USB 3.0 Won’t Replace Older USBs: 3.0 offers a remarkable increase in performance, but not every application will need to take advantage of the technology. USB 3.0, at least for the time being, will be primarily used for high bandwidth, high volume data transfers, and for the average computer user, will not feel the need to upgrade to the new technology until their particular needs change. Devices such as keyboards, mice, audio equipment, and many others will likely remain 2.0 for quite some time.

However, now that 3.0 is live, many manufactures from all across the industry are designing new technologies that take full advantage of 3.0’s capabilities. It won’t be long before we see 3.0 as the primary way to transfer data; it just might take a couple years for the demand to catch up.

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