If anyone missed the launch of USB 3.0, good news: SuperSpeed USB 3.0 is on the way and will be available next year.
Details about the roadmap for the new standard were unveiled on the preview day of the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The upgraded USB 3.0 specification will double the data-transfer speed of USB 3.0 from five gigabits per second (Gbit/s) to 10Gbit/s, helping to overcome bottlenecks of external storage devices - particularly solid-state disks, which are becoming increasingly popular as their prices have plunged.
Other key characteristics of SuperSpeed USB include:
• Backwards compatibility with existing cables and connectors, and with USB 2.0 and 3.0 products;
• Improved data encoding for more efficient data transfer, leading to higher throughput and improved input/output power efficiency;
• Compatible with existing USB 3.0 software stacks and device-class protocols;
However, the SuperSpeed USB 3.0 specification will not be completed before the middle of the year, according to the USB 3.0 Promoter Group, whose members include some of the biggest names in IT: HP, Intel, Renesas Electronics, ST-Ericsson and Texas Instruments.
The original USB 3.0 specification was released in November 2008, more than eight years after the launch of USB 2.0 in April 2000.