Transferring files from your digital video camera to your computer will happen in an instant as USB enters a new generation.
The head of the USB Implementers Forum, Jeffery Ravencraft, said last month that USB had become the standard for connecting devices to computers. He said the formation of the USB 3.0 Promoter Group would help deliver a “faster sync-n-go capability”.
“USB is the most successful interface in the history of computing. Last year 2.1 billion USB connections were shipped and to date over six billion units have been sold,” Ravencraft said at the Intel Development Forum in Taiwan in October.
“It’s phenomenal, people use it everywhere. But the consumer has very low tolerance and is impatient with technology.”
The growing use of video and audio devices, with their bigger files sizes, was one of the reasons behind the development of faster transfer rates, he said. For example, a 27GB high-definition movie takes about 14 minutes to download with high-speed USB 2.0. With superspeed USB 3.0, it will take 70 seconds, according to Ravencraft.
USB 3.0 would also be more energy-efficient than its predecessor, reducing the load on laptops, he said.
“We’re wanting to drive power efficiency for all of our platforms, (therefore) USB 3.0 will not constantly talk to the device.”
However, users will still be able to charge devices such as mobile phones and PDAs, Ravencraft said.
“We may even allow the ability to charge even better.”
He confirmed the next generation of USB would be compatible with previous versions of USB interface.
The promoter group is expected to deliver its USB 3.0 specifications in the first half of next year and the first products may appear in late 2009.
On display at the forum was wireless USB, which has received regulatory approval in several countries, but is yet to get the tick in Australia.
The technology uses ultra-wideband technology to deliver transfer rates of 480Mbps at a distance of three meters; comparable to wired USB 2.0 and several hundred times faster than Bluetooth.
The US, Japan, Europe and South Korea have decided which portions of the radio spectrum ultra-wideband devices may use, and Canada and China are expected to announce similar decisions before the end of this year.
There is no word on when Australian regulators will reach a decision on spectrum approval for wireless USB.