SuperSpeed USB 3.0: 6x Faster than USB 2.0

Dennis Faas's picture

For those of you who feel that USB 2.0 isn't quite fast enough for your needs, take note: USB 3.0 is on its way, and the new technology offers data transfer speeds that are ten times faster than the last generation.

Dubbed "SuperSpeed USB" at the recent USB Implementers Forum in sunny San Jose, USB 3.0 is the next step in a must-have technology. USB data transfer devices can be found just about anywhere, including wireless Internet peripherals and "sticks", tiny thumb-sized disc-like storage units that allow one to carry several gigs worth of data in their pocket.

USB 2.0 isn't exactly obsolete for the everyday user, but as cameras become more and more advanced (through ever-increasing resolutions and zoom functionality), so too does the size of the average file. Thus, it can take longer and longer to move files from one place to another, and USB technology absolutely has to keep up.

The USB Implementers Forum, or USB-IF, recognizes that a surge in storage technology is necessary to keep up with the quickly advancing photography market. According to Jeff Ravencroft, president of USB-IF, "Today's consumers are using rich media and large digital files that need to be easily and quickly transferred from PCs to devices." USB 3.0, or SuperSpeed USB, "meets the needs of everyone, from the tech-savvy executive to the average home user," Ravencroft said. (Source:

Moving towards SuperSpeed USB might be just as fast as the new technology itself. Ravencroft and USB-IF believe that USB 3.0, which is expected to be backwards-compatible with other versions of USB, may be built into computers as early as a year from now. By 2010, consumers should find SuperSpeed USB technology in their digital audio players, cameras, and flash drives.

We've come a long way baby...

Just in case you're keeping track, USB 1.0 was released in 1996 with data transfer rates around 1.5 MB/second. In April of 2000, not long after the Y2K threat had subsided, USB 2.0 was unveiled with a much-improved 480 MB/second transfer speed. USB 3.0, or SuperSpeed USB, will offer transfer rates topping out around 5.0 GB (yes, gigabytes) per second, as much as six times faster than USB 2.0. (Source:

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