Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 19th Sep 2007 13:12 UTC, submitted by Geoda
Hardware, Embedded Systems Intel and others plan to release a new version of the ubiquitous Universal Serial Bus technology in the first half of 2008, a revamp the chip maker said will make data transfer rates more than 10 times as fast by adding fiber-optic links alongside the traditional copper wires. Intel is working with fellow USB 3.0 Promoters Group members Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard, Texas Instruments, NEC and NXP Semiconductors to release the USB 3.0 specification in the first half of 2008, said Pat Gelsinger, general manager of Intel's Digital Enterprise Group, in a speech here at the Intel Developer Forum.
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Changing the cable?!
by TemporalBeing on Wed 19th Sep 2007 14:16 UTC
TemporalBeing
Member since:
2007-08-22

If they change the cable, then they should call it something other than USB. USB 1.x, and USB 2.x devices use the same set of cables. If they have to change it for USB 3.x, then it won't be backwards compatible and it'll start confusing people.

Just imagine the conversations:
Customer: I have a USB cable, and this device, but I can't plug it in.
Agent: Well, that's because is USB 3.0, and you need a DIFFERENT cable, which we can sell you for (=cost*excessive multiplier).

Reply Score: 2

RE: Changing the cable?!
by MacTO on Wed 19th Sep 2007 14:38 in reply to "Changing the cable?!"
MacTO Member since:
2006-09-21

I agree with the sentiment. Standards like SCSI were bloody annoying because there were different cables for the different revisions (and different connectors, sometimes just to suit an implementor's whims).

But that's not going to stop them from keeping the name. After all, USB is a valuable trademark and they are going to keep it just because the name will give it a leg up in the world.

I also wonder about having an electrical and optical interface in parallel. Surely people aren't that easily confused, and will be able to handle USB for low speed peripherals and a separate optical bus for high speed peripherals until the optical bus takes over. Since the cables will be less complex, it should keep the price of entry lower and maybe even encourage adoption.

Reply Parent Score: 2

daddio Member since:
2007-07-14

I too envisioned something that looks like the old cable, has the same four metal contacts, and adds a highspeed optical link. The thing is, how would an optical signal be passed through? would usb3 hubs have lasers?

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE: Changing the cable?!
by MightyPenguin on Wed 19th Sep 2007 14:49 in reply to "Changing the cable?!"
MightyPenguin Member since:
2005-11-18

Yes the cable will be different, but they might be able to make it work with the same plugs, just like with USB 1.0 and USB 2.0. So if you have a USB 3.0 plug into a USB 2.0 port it'll just work at 2.0 speeds. That might be possible, but I'm just talking w/o looking at any specs here.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Changing the cable?!
by TemporalBeing on Wed 19th Sep 2007 16:15 in reply to "RE: Changing the cable?!"
TemporalBeing Member since:
2007-08-22

I find that hard. Have you seen a fiber optic network cable before? You have to have a sheething that protrudes into the device in order to protect the light emissions from outside the device and cable. Building that into a current USB cables would not produce a cable that would still work in older USB revisions.

And if they make it thinner, then it will likely be very likely to break.

Either way, you still have the issue of people trying to plug the old USB cables into new USB3 devices and wondering why they are not getting the speed they expected. So my original point is still valid.

The only real solution is make it a different cable - perhaps a USB C/D cable, instead of the current USB A/B would be the only way to avoid confusion (then the devices would have to support both to be backwards compatible, or at least the USB3 hubs and root devices would have to) - but then you'd just as well call it something else.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: Changing the cable?!
by thabrain on Wed 19th Sep 2007 19:41 in reply to "RE: Changing the cable?!"
thabrain Member since:
2005-06-29

http://crave.cnet.com/8301-1_105-9780794-1.html

The link shows a picture of the card and cable and it's got a USB standard connector on it.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: Changing the cable?!
by smitty on Wed 19th Sep 2007 14:54 in reply to "Changing the cable?!"
smitty Member since:
2005-10-13

USB 3.0 will (supposedly) be completely backwards compatible, just like 2.0 was.

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE[2]: Changing the cable?!
by cg0def on Wed 19th Sep 2007 19:58 in reply to "Changing the cable?!"
cg0def Member since:
2006-02-12

why would you think that the cable is not going to be backwards compatible? They are ADDING an optical link not replacing the coper wires with optical. Just like you need a shielded cable in order to run at usb 2.0 speeds and you don't need shielding for a low speed usb cable you will have an ultra high speed cable that has an optical channel in order to achieve the really high speeds. The jack is exactly the same the protocol is pretty much the same and there is no problem using the new cables with older devices or new devices with older cables as long as you don't mind the reduction in speed. In every respect this IS a usb revision. The big problem however is that there is quite a bit of overhead on most usb drivers that exist today. There will have to be some better quality control on those in order to reach the promised speeds. But then again there are hardly any usb 2.0 devices that perform up to the standard ...

Truth be told I really don't know of any device on the market today that can benefit from a usb 3.0 connection. Sure it allows for more power to be drawn and has higher promised throughput but you can get high speed with eSATA and a lot of power and reasonable speed with firewire800. Yes firewire 800 seems to be an apple exclusive ( almost ) but this is mostly due to the fact that there is no consumer interest in firewire products when it comes to the windows world. That still doesn't mean that the technology does not exist or that you need to create a super expensive optical hybrid cable for the next revision of usb. Oh and whatever happened to wireless usb?

Reply Parent Score: 1