USB 3.5 Coming 2014
The USB Implementers Forum has decided to drop a bomb of a news. Come early 2014, the group, which dedicates itself to the advancement of the USB bus interface, will be releasing a new version of USB: the USB 3.5. It seems to be the USB-IF’s answer to Thunderbolt (though one has to point out that it’s a bit late in the game for that). The most prominent specification for the new USB 3.5 sounds like the data transfer rate that Thunderbolt has been hanging over USB’s head. Now, it’s time to level the playing field.
The USB 3.5 news should not come as a shocker. The specs for the new bus interface upgrade are looking pretty good. And plus points for the fact that the speed of USB will finally have a fighting chance against Thunderbolt. What we have sure about the specifications of the USB 3.5 that will be debuting in 2014 is that it has a data transfer rate of 10 GB/s and that it’s a halfway between USB 3.0 and USB 4.0. It seems that the USB-IF has even more plans for the future, seeing that the group has already mentioned the existence of a looming USB 4.0. How far into the future that is, no one can tell yet.
Still, the improvements from USB 3.0 to USB 3.5 are significant enough to warrant some applaud. Other manufacturers are already, even now, gearing to provide products that will support USB 3.5. One of those manufacturers is the Taiwan-based company ASMedia. According to ASMedia, it is aiming to be the first company on the global stage to be able to offer a host controller made specifically with USB 3.5 in mind. It’s an ambitious project for ASMedia, since their self-proclaimed deadline coincides with the debut of USB 3.5, which is sometime during early 2014. There’s also a forecast going around that once new USB specs are released, manufacturers will jump on the opportunity to start manufacturing peripherals or accessories that will accommodate both USB 3.0 and USB 3.5.
Like all the other USB specifications that came before, USB 3.5 will also offer backward compatibility, meaning that it will be compatible with specs down to at least USB 2.0. Luckily, the USB Implementers Forum’s devotion to developing USB 3.5 in time does not mean that they will leave USB 3.0 as is. There are still efforts from the group to continue the increase of the power output to the max of 100 watts.