The Wire

Next Tech: USB 3.0

What is USB 3.0?
Well, you might be familiar with its younger brothers USB 1.0 and USB 2.0. The difference between these three versions is speed.  USB 1.0 only goes at 12 Megabits/second which is great for a keyboard or Mouse, but USB 2.0 goes 40 times faster than USB 1.0 at 480 Megabits/second. USB 3.0 will go at an outstanding 5 Gigabits/second; with that you can imagine an entire DVD copied in 1 second.  The difference between the 3 is like having Horse(USB 1.0), Sports Car(USB 2.0), and a Jet going twice the speed of sound racing each other.

Why do these numbers matter?
Imagine an 80 GB iPod that you want to fill up, copying 1 song takes a couple of seconds, but if you wanted to transfer ALL the music to your iPod at once using USB 1.0 it would take up to between 40 and 60 minutes. Using USB 2.0 it takes about 10 minutes. 
Now, With USB 3.0 you can copy a full 80GB iPod… (drumroll please)… in under a minute!

So what does it look like?:

Notice something it looks no different than any USB port you have seen before. That’s because USB 3.0 is backwards compatible with USB 2.0 and USB 1.0, which means that all your existing USB technology, such as your printer, mouse, keyboard, and external hard drive will work with USB 3.0.

How will we see it introduced?
We will start to see USB 3.0 products in mid 2009, and will most likely be seen first is external hard drives, and external Blue Ray drives for the computer. There are also plans to include this technology in iPods and smart phones. At the same time most if not all-new computers will start to incorporate the USB 3.0 ports, and older computers will be able to purchase an upgrade to install on their computer.

Look for this Logo to make sure your getting a USB 3.0 product.