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Networking Hardware

Everything You Need To Know About USB 3.0 322

Posted by timothy
from the it-goes-one-louder dept.
Esther Schindler writes "After a lengthy gestation period, the third generation of the Universal Serial Bus is making its way to the market. USB 3.0, also known as SuperSpeed USB, has throughput of up to 5 gigabits per second. That's even faster than the 3Gb/sec of SATA hard drives and 1Gb/sec of high-end networking in the home. USB 3.0: Everything You Need to Know goes into plenty of the techie details. But is it already obsolete — will LightPeak make USB 3.0 irrelevant?"
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Everything You Need To Know About USB 3.0

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  • Micro-USB (Score:3, Informative)

    by Errol backfiring (1280012) on Friday August 27, 2010 @08:44AM (#33391098) Journal

    .. not to mention cellular phone market is finally starting to standardize to micro-USB.

    Finally? I hope all the companies that implemented that horrible plug will go back to mini-usb. It is as big, by far more robust, you can get cables for it and you are not afraid to plug it in. And plugging in is easier, as the plug will "find" its way in.

    There has never been a worse plug than micro-usb.

  • Re:hard disk speed (Score:3, Informative)

    by derGoldstein (1494129) on Friday August 27, 2010 @09:16AM (#33391492) Homepage
    eSata doesn't hubs or daisy-chains, making it much more rigid. If you want that port to be "universal", then the space is better occupied by a USB3. (yes, I know that the eSata/USB [] "solves" that, but I'd still rather have 1 format (to which I might be able to connect an HD video stream *or* an HD) than the hybrid port)
  • by Dr_Barnowl (709838) on Friday August 27, 2010 @09:22AM (#33391568)

    They are referring to the "B" type connectors which per the standard are only used at the device end. The 3.0 B plugs are not compatible with the 2.0 B receptacle by dint of having an "extra bit" bolted on, whereas the 3.0 A plugs are compatible with the 2.0 A receptacle, which is typically used on the host PC.

    So essentially
        - you can connect any two devices with an old A-B cable and it will still work
        - you can't use the new cable with old devices

    Which seems very sensible - you won't have new cables unless you get new devices, and you can't waste your new cables connecting up old devices that can't use their extra wires, whereas in a pinch you can still use an old cable with a new device albeit at lower speed.

  • Re:Micro-USB (Score:5, Informative)

    by dave420 (699308) on Friday August 27, 2010 @09:33AM (#33391684)
    Micro-USB connectors are actually less fragile than Mini-USB. They are rated for far more connect/disconnect cycles (10,000) than Mini-USB.
  • by dave420 (699308) on Friday August 27, 2010 @09:41AM (#33391796)
    You can plug a USB 3 device into a USB 1/2 port without issue. The USB 3 Type-A plug (the flat rectangular one) retains the same pins in the same locations, but has a recessed group of 5 pins that only come into contact with the host when placed in a USB 3 SuperSpeed socket. You will not be able to, however, plug a USB 3 Type-B plug (the square ones) into a USB 1/2 Type-B socket. They are not breaking compatibility.
  • by dave420 (699308) on Friday August 27, 2010 @09:45AM (#33391836)
    There are two main types of USB connector - Type A (the rectangular one, like on a mouse or thumb drive) and the Type B (like the socket on the back of a printer). Male USB 3 Type A connectors will happily fit in female USB 1/2/3 Type A sockets (but will work at USB 1/2 speeds, depending on the host), and vice versa. You won't be able to plug a USB 3 Type B connector into a USB 1/2 device, however. You'd need to use the cable that came with that device. So you won't be able to take your new shiny blue USB 3 cable, plug it in your USB 3 port on the back of your PC, and then plug it into your USB 1/2 printer. It won't fit.
  • Re:hard disk speed (Score:3, Informative)

    by wolrahnaes (632574) <<sean> <at> <>> on Friday August 27, 2010 @09:54AM (#33391950) Homepage Journal

    eSATA does not always require separate power. Most eSATA-equipped laptops on the market right now use a port known as eSATAp which adds in both power and USB 2.0 compatibility. It's less common on desktops, but is gaining in popularity. Since an eSATA + USB enclosure is generally within a few dollars of a straight eSATA or USB model it's the best of both worlds. With the right hardware at both ends you get full SATA speeds on a one-cable power+data solution, but either end can fail back to USB 2 as necessary for compatibility with the world.

  • by Sockatume (732728) on Friday August 27, 2010 @09:58AM (#33391994)

    One must always make an exception for Scott Bakula.

  • Re:SuperSpeed USB... (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 27, 2010 @10:14AM (#33392204)

    it started when Intel tried to trademark the 486 so AMD couldn't use it. The judge said that it was a part number, not a name, and could not be trademarked, so the 586 became the Pentium. Now everything has some stupid trademarkable term for it.

  • Re:hard disk speed (Score:2, Informative)

    by adisakp (705706) on Friday August 27, 2010 @12:38PM (#33394104) Journal

    The one major eSATA issue is power.

    Yes, power and hot swapping because windoze doesn't recognize the drive as removeable.

    D'oh!! The two major eSATA issues are power and hot swapping and overly short cables that are very expensive.

    D'oh!! The three major eSATA issues are power and hot swapping and short expensive cables and connectors that tend to break off easily.

    D'oh!! The four major eSATA issues are power and hot swapping and short expensive cables and fragile connectors.

    What about the fact that you only get one eSATA port if you're lucky and that's on the back of your computer sandwiched between other ports and nearly impossible to get to without pulling out your entire computer box?

    Fuck it! Let's got to USB 3.0.

A penny saved is a penny to squander. -- Ambrose Bierce