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Hands-on Look At USB 3.0, Spec Details Revealed 251

notdagreatbrain writes "Maximum PC dug up some new information about USB 3.0, got their hands on the new connectors, and even took a look inside the new cables. They learned several new details about the next-gen version of the ubiquitous interface. USB Superspeed will be backward compatible with USB 2.0. The maximum speed of the new spec is 4.8Gbps, which is ten times faster than hi-speed. Five new wires are bundled in the cable, four of them used for data transfer (bi-directional transfer is now supported). More power will also be funneled through the line, so you can charge more devices, faster. The wireless USB is also getting upgraded to version 1.1, and will include ultra-wide band frequency support and Near Field Communication for near-instant swipe-based syncing."
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Hands-on Look At USB 3.0, Spec Details Revealed

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  • It's going to break. (Score:5, Informative)

    by dotancohen ( 1015143 ) on Friday August 22, 2008 @07:45AM (#24703229) Homepage

    I've seen too many people destroy USB 1 and 2 connectors by repeatedly wiggling the plug out of the sockets to the point where the sockets no longer hold the connector anymore. Now, USB 3 is going to be even deeper, providing even more leverage to ruin the socket with.

    Tip: you can repair the USB 1 and 2 socktet by opening the case, placing a thin, flat object on the OUTSIDE on the socket, and giving the object a light tap. Just enough to bend it slightly inward again. Master this skill before USB 3 becomes mainstream.

  • by dotancohen ( 1015143 ) on Friday August 22, 2008 @07:53AM (#24703289) Homepage

    From TFA:
    Also, new Mass Storage Device drivers will have to be developed for Windows to take advantage of the spec.

    Either Mac, Linux, Solaris, the BSDs and Symbian already support USB 3.0, or somebody at MaximumPC needs to pull their head out from under Ballmer's ballsack.

  • Re:and Yet... (Score:4, Informative)

    by Lumpy ( 12016 ) on Friday August 22, 2008 @08:14AM (#24703471) Homepage

    Actually HDTV camcorders dont have Firewire. HDV camcorders do.

    real HDTV camcorders have too much bandwidth to use firewire 400 for transfer and record to a medium that can be read in the computer (Redone uses an array of CF cards, pro cameras use a different system)

    The HDV camcorders record low grade Mpeg4 in the same bandwidth that a DV SDTV camcorder uses. It's by loose definition HD by resolution, but the artifacting and quality is so low it's only good for home use.

    I use a Canon HD-G1 $5800 "HD" camcorder.. It's not HD by my definition even though it records 1440X1080i. (1/2 HD is what ALL of them record except for the jvc HD7... yes I have one of those as well)

  • iNTEL (wimedia []) submarined the xStremeSpectrum/Freescale UWB, which was better tech, just so they could own the patents on all the pipes. That, even though Freescale offered theirs royalty-free.

    Now, iNTEL insists on pushing their non-standard UWB into the USB spec.

    USB is one of those "We spec our tech conservatively. Our specs are 100% better than you will obtain." technologies. Wireless USB will spill your data into the ether and USB 3, while bursting to n-gigabit, will barely be able to sustain half a gig continuous with only two devices on the line. And multiple bus controllers is an upgrade, still on the drawing board.

    Save your money. If serial SCSI is overkill, and your device is not on a LAN, get Firewire. Buy printers with ethernet connectors.

    Use USB for keyboards and mice and maybe scanners, like it was intended in the first place.

    iNTEL bites.

  • Re:and Yet... (Score:3, Informative)

    by TheRaven64 ( 641858 ) on Friday August 22, 2008 @09:15AM (#24704223) Journal
    Uncompressed 720p only needs 79MB/s to transfer. FireWire 400 can get close to 50MB/s in real-world use, so it's certainly possible to stream lossless 720p over FireWire 400. FireWire 800 is fast enough for uncompressed video at this resolution.

    I've only used SD cameras, but they tend to use a variant of MJPEG, so each frame is losslessly compressed but there is no interframe compression. Using something like MJPEG-2000, you can easily stream 1080p over FireWire 800.

  • by smoker2 ( 750216 ) on Friday August 22, 2008 @09:22AM (#24704327) Homepage Journal
    what you mean like ethernet, or DVI/HDMI, or svideo, or firewire, or serial, or parallel, or IDE, or sata, or even earthed mains ? Christ, even a simple CD needs to be put in the right way up.
    Not everything can be practically wired to a "stereo" jack plug, and even if it were practical, how many times will you jam the wrong thing in the wrong socket, sending +5v the wrong way into an expensive bit of kit ?
    Even nature uses specific "sockets" to ensure the correct usage. Sure you can stick food up your ass, but you won't be able to chew it, and it'll just drop out anyway. And as for sex, well there is only one socket that really works as intended.
    BTW, you never "inserted a USB cable incorrectly" because, surprise surprise, it wouldn't go in, thereby ensuring that you got it right on the next attempt. You may have "tried" to insert it, but you can do that with any socket arrangement.
    I'm interested to hear your alternatives for an idiot proof connector layout. One that doesn't involve "keying" the plug to the socket.
  • Re:and Yet... (Score:3, Informative)

    by A nonymous Coward ( 7548 ) * on Friday August 22, 2008 @09:39AM (#24704557)

    The most important part, did they finally make it non CPU intensive?

    Yes. It is interrupt driven rather than polled. Polling was one of the lamest decisions the original USB designers made. For those who don't know the difference, interrupt driven is similar to a phone ringing to get your attention. If it were a polling device, you'd have to pull it out of your pocket every few seconds to see if anyone was calling.

  • by pmbasehore ( 1198857 ) on Friday August 22, 2008 @10:41AM (#24705559)
    Personally, I'm surprised no one has said


    Like Mishra100 said, this being slashdot, it should have been a given.
  • Re:It stands for (Score:4, Informative)

    by PapaBoojum ( 232247 ) on Friday August 22, 2008 @11:33AM (#24706433)

    Bidirectional != parallel

  • Re:and Yet... (Score:2, Informative)

    by Jorophose ( 1062218 ) on Friday August 22, 2008 @12:59PM (#24707843)

    it's more expensive than esata (or so I heard

    eSATA ports are very cheap to make, especially on external enclosures, which is why they often come with eSATA and USB and no firewire; FireWire would require an actual controller, USB just requires a change of plugs, and eSATA is SATA with a different connector.

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