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Intel Releases USB 3.0 Controller Interface Spec 374

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the lookit-all-them-wires dept.
hardsky submitted thrilling news about everyone's favorite interconnect cable by saying "USB 3.0 is set to deliver data-transfer speeds of up to 5Gb/s, initially over tweaked connectors and wiring and, later, over optical links."
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Intel Releases USB 3.0 Controller Interface Spec

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  • Re:Sigh (Score:5, Informative)

    by Seraph787 (859123) on Thursday August 14, 2008 @10:24AM (#24598863) Homepage
    yea we know its but here are the reasons its needed 1) Backwards compatible 2) Fit more ports in a smaller area, less wasted space 3) Cheaper for manufactures because the mounts are the same thus making it a cheaper industry upgrade to adopt.
  • Embossing (Score:5, Informative)

    by tepples (727027) <{moc.liamg} {ta} {selppet}> on Thursday August 14, 2008 @10:24AM (#24598879) Homepage Journal
    Yes, the USB connector is blind accessible. The "top" of the A plug's plastic part is supposed to be embossed with a USB logo, and the "bottom" isn't supposed to be embossed. So if you know which way is "up" on your PC's connector, or if you are using a hub (in which case up is more obvious), you can more easily plug them in blind.
  • Re:Great! (Score:5, Informative)

    by Seraph787 (859123) on Thursday August 14, 2008 @10:34AM (#24599065) Homepage

    simple answer: yes

    Complicated answer:
    Progress is inevitable and we definitely need that kind of speed. Its not only about hard drives but also about Audio visual components. Such as an USB HDTV Dongle which is a bit slow for USB 2.0. It is also one of the reasons why webcams currently max out at 2.0 megapixels. anything more than that the current USB 2.0 cannot handle. It is quite easy to eat through those 600MB/s, Just think of the USB 3.0 replacing 1000mbit ethernet.

  • by Tim C (15259) on Thursday August 14, 2008 @10:46AM (#24599257)

    I believe that firewire is peer to peer, while USB is master/slave. In theory that means that you can connect any two firewire-capable devices and have them talk to each other, which is not possible with USB (you need a hub). I've never actually tried that though, and so cannot personally confirm it.

  • Plug rage (Score:2, Informative)

    by davidwr (791652) on Thursday August 14, 2008 @11:13AM (#24599669) Homepage Journal

    Don't laugh. I've seen power plugs glued to drives.

  • by TheRaven64 (641858) on Thursday August 14, 2008 @11:19AM (#24599759) Journal
    It's not a huge limitation for USB since devices just include a USB host controller as well. This allows, for example, a USB camera to print to a USB printer. The main win for FireWire is the lower protocol overhead (meaning that it gets closer to the rated wire speed) and the lower CPU usage.
  • by TheRaven64 (641858) on Thursday August 14, 2008 @11:22AM (#24599813) Journal
    I think you are confusing USB with FireWire. FireWire is the IEEE 1394 family of standards (letter suffixes indicating later versions with higher speeds). USB is an interface developed by Intel to help them sell faster CPUs.
  • Re:Embossing (Score:3, Informative)

    by SanityInAnarchy (655584) <ninja@slaphack.com> on Thursday August 14, 2008 @11:26AM (#24599889) Journal

    Seriously, how many connectors out there do you know of that let you plug it in any way you feel like?

    Oh, I don't know... Ever used headphones? [wikipedia.org]

    How about at least some power [wikipedia.org] connectors? [phidgets.com]

    I can't even imagine it being easier to manufacture this little square thing than to manufacture something, you know, round like that.

  • Re:Embossing (Score:3, Informative)

    by rcw-home (122017) on Thursday August 14, 2008 @11:42AM (#24600163)

    Seriously, how many connectors out there do you know of that let you plug it in any way you feel like?

    For starters, my car keys.

    It can be done, but it requires duplicating contacts in an axially-symmetric way.

    I would have been happy with a trapezoidal or semicircular connector.

  • Re:USB? Bah. (Score:3, Informative)

    by larkost (79011) on Thursday August 14, 2008 @11:47AM (#24600255)

    It is not just the dependance on the processor that makes the "slower" FireWire 400 beat out USB 2.0 (the fast one... whatever they are calling that today). A rough outline:

    1) FireWire allows devices to allocate a specific slice of time to their needs for a period of time. This slice of time can then be used exclusivly by the device to transmit that round of data. This keeps devices from interupting the flow durring those periods. USB has a part-way analog to this, but it is not nearly as efficent.

    2) FireWire allows any device to talk to any other without requiring a CPU's intervention. So if you are transfering from on HD to another connected via FireWire the data never has to flow thorugh the CPU (unlike on USB).

    3) FireWire has explicit support for DMA (direct memory access), so when transfering data to and from an internal HD the CPU only has to grant access to the bits on disk and the FireWire support chips can handle streaming the data from one storage device to the other (like #2, but lightly different).

    4) Latency can be gaurenteeded through a mechanism in the time-slice arbitration system. So audio devices can have the guaranteed chanels. On USB it is a constant fight... that does not work for music devices if you start loading up the USB system. This works well with the DMA thing, so even if your CPU is busy at the moment it does not have to make the context switch before accepting the data.

    Most of these differences are inherint in the basic design of the two protocols. And they cause the FireWire bridge chips to be significaly more expensive (still we are talking a mater of a dollar or two). I have not heard any good analasis of USB 3 yet (since the spec just came out), but I suspect that USB 3.0 will still be saddled with the legacy of USB 1.0 (which was designed with mice an keyboards in mind... everything else seems to have been showhorned in).

  • Re:Sigh (Score:3, Informative)

    by j-cloth (862412) on Thursday August 14, 2008 @11:54AM (#24600367)
    USB hot plugs just fine... you put a device in and it works, you yank it out and it disappears. The "Safely remove hardware" bit is because the OS (and more specifically the file system if it's a disk) needs to do some work before a device goes bye bye.
  • Re:Sigh (Score:3, Informative)

    by mortonda (5175) on Thursday August 14, 2008 @12:32PM (#24600983)

    You forgot the step where you realized you stuck the USB connector into the ethernet slot. It fits, I kid you not.

  • Re:Embossing (Score:2, Informative)

    by krazytekn0 (1069802) on Thursday August 14, 2008 @05:46PM (#24606627) Homepage Journal
    Anyone with a macbook look at your magsafe plug for an illustration of this.

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