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USB 3.0 getting a speed boost to 10 Gbps

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January 6, 2013

USB 3.0 is set to get a speed boost from 5 Gbps to 10 Gbps (Image: Shutterstock)

USB 3.0 is set to get a speed boost from 5 Gbps to 10 Gbps (Image: Shutterstock)

The USB 3.0 Promoter Group has used CES 2013 to announce an enhancement to the USB 3.0 (aka SuperSpeed USB) standard that will see the throughput performance of USB 3.0 double from 5 Gbps to 10 Gbps. The speed boost will come courtesy of enhanced USB connectors and cables that are fully backward compatible with existing USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 devices.

The 10 Gbps data throughput speed puts USB 3 on more of an equal footing with Thunderbolt, which also offers 10 Gbps transfer speeds. The announcement comes as more Thunderbolt-equipped devices are appearing on the market, and there will likely be a wait for USB 3.0 devices equipped to take advantage of the speed boost.

However, with major industry players such as HP, Intel, Microsoft, ST-Ericsson and Texas instruments part of the USB Promoter Group, we shouldn’t have to wait too long before 10 Gbps-capable USB 3.0 devices see the light of day.

“Microsoft has been a strong supporter of the USB community where we have advocated balancing innovation and compatibility,” said Dennis Flanagan, General Manager, Windows Ecosystem Engagement. “The planned updates to USB 3.0 are consistent with our views. These updates will enable higher data rates and allow combining of disk, high-definition audio/video and networking traffic on a single cable – all while maintaining compatibility with billions of existing devices.”

The 10 Gbps SuperSpeed USB update is up for industry review during the first quarter of 2013, with completion of the standard expected by the middle of the year.

Source: USB 3.0 Promoter Group

About the Author
Darren Quick Darren's love of technology started in primary school with a Nintendo Game & Watch Donkey Kong (still functioning) and a Commodore VIC 20 computer (not still functioning). In high school he upgraded to a 286 PC, and he's been following Moore's law ever since. This love of technology continued through a number of university courses and crappy jobs until 2008, when his interests found a home at Gizmag.   All articles by Darren Quick
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4 Comments

awesome. I have a few 32 gig USB 2.0 flash drives, and man, it takes a while to fill them since the transfer rate is horrible. I'm looking forward to flash drives with USB3 with is double the speed wizardry baked in.

Derek Howe
6th January, 2013 @ 09:16 pm PST

Can't say I've been impressed with thunderbolt. The connector on my retina gets VERY hot, the cables are expensive, and I had random issues where the drive would disappear from Finder...

Luckily the drive also has a USB3 port. The cable is passive so it's cheap and doesn't heat. I've never had a stability issue. It works with Windows and all my VMs. And I've never noticed the speed difference.

Thunderbolt should just be killed, the same way Firewire has disappeared from existence.

kufu
6th January, 2013 @ 11:20 pm PST

And that is the way you do it right! Not like the Apple method of new connectors with no backward compatibility.

isaygday
7th January, 2013 @ 10:23 am PST

yeah i can't see USB 3.1 flash drives being any faster unless they speed up write times to flash itself. the USB part is not the bottleneck

SciFi9000
10th September, 2013 @ 06:23 pm PDT
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