SuperSpeed USB 3.0 Promises 10Gbps Data Transfers, Coming in 2014

NewImageThe trade organization behind the USB 3.0 specification has announced a new upgraded spec that promises higher data speeds over backwards compatible connections.

The new spec enhanced SuperSpeed USB 3.0 spec should deliver a 10 Gbps data rate -- the same as current Thunderbolt connectors -- though don't expect it any time soon. The new protocol should be finalized sometime in 2013, with initial products featuring the connector appearing in late-2014 or 2015, reports CNET.

To take advantage of the double-speed USB 3.0 interface, devices such as computers, hubs, and digital cameras will need new USB controller hardware. However, the new version of USB 3.0 uses the same connectors, so existing USB devices can be plugged into the higher-speed ports.

USB 3.0 cables may or may not work. "Existing SuperSpeed USB cables are not certified to operate at 10 Gbps; it is possible that some existing SuperSpeed USB cables may be capable of operating at 10 Gbps," the group said.

The new devices should be backwards compatible with older USB hardware, though not at the upgraded speeds.

Thunderbolt, which moves data at up to 10Gbps in both directions, appears mostly on Apple devices currently, but devices tend to be more expensive than their USB 3.0-compatible counterparts. However, Thunderbolt does have a strong ally in Intel, with the company pushing the standard heavily.

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Top Rated Comments

lunarworks Avatar
149 months ago
Both have different usage scenarios, so saying "I like this one better" is pointless.
Score: 49 Votes (Like | Disagree)
iphone495 Avatar
149 months ago
I still prefer USB, much more widely adapted than TB.
Score: 35 Votes (Like | Disagree)
JS82712 Avatar
149 months ago
I much prefer Thunderbolt. It has much lower CPU usage, and can be used to connect displays. That's not the case for USB.

and how much do thunderbolt accessories cost again? :rolleyes:
Score: 32 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Axemantitan Avatar
149 months ago
I much prefer Thunderbolt. It has much lower CPU usage, and can be used to connect displays. That's not the case for USB.
Score: 30 Votes (Like | Disagree)
avanpelt Avatar
149 months ago
This new SuperSpeed USB 3 will likely win out and we'll see the slow death of Thunderbolt just like we saw the slow death of FireWire. A committed following sung the praises of FireWire to the bitter end and that will likely happen with Thunderbolt, as well.
Score: 27 Votes (Like | Disagree)
kendallb Avatar
149 months ago
Comparing thunderbolt and USB 3.0 is like apples and oranges. They are quite different in how they work. Thunderbolt effectively extends the PCI bus over cables (and now there are Thunderbolt fiber optic cables that can go hundreds of feet), so you can put anything on the end of the cable you can plug into a PCI slot. So far products using thunderbolt are more expensive, but they are way more flexible, especially for adding complex devices to laptops or mini's. I am actually surprised no PC vendors have not added it already since it is an Intel SPEC not Apple.

USB 3.0 on the other hand is just faster USB. Very flexible and great for high speed peripherals like external hard drives, cameras etc. The device driver model is completely different to Thunderbolt though.

The primary reason for a faster USB 3.0 spec is really for external data storage as the latest SSD drives (especially in RAID) can swamp out even the current USB 3.0 spec. And by the time super speed USB 3.0 arrives, the drives will likely be much faster and will need 10G connections to keep up.

At the end of the day they really serve different purposes, which is the reason the latest Mac's come with both. I doubt it will ever be one or the other.
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)