USB 3.0 to the Rescue

Industry Perspective

USB 3.0 to the Rescue

by Ron Leach

One of the bi-products of high-resolution digital cameras, terabyte hard drives, multi-gigabyte mobile phones, and D-SLRs with HD video capabilities is the ever-increasing need for greater bandwidth and faster data transfer rates. So it's none too soon that USB 3.0 has finally arrived. First touted at a developer forum by Intel in 2007, this latest iteration of the Universal Serial Bus promises significantly faster performance and backwards compatibility with USB 2.0-while using one-third the power of the earlier specification.

A number of USB 3.0 storage devices, adapter cards, motherboards and host controllers were announced last month at CES in Las Vegas, and we expect to see more soon as we are preparing to depart for the PMA tradeshow in Anaheim. One thing to look for as new products come to market is the certified USB 3.0 logo which will give you some confidence that your new peripheral device will fulfill the promises of the new USB 3.0 specification.

According to the specs, SuperSpeed USB 3.0 will deliver 10X the transfer rate of Hi-Speed USB 2.0 in addition to its much-improved power efficiency. USB 3.0 can theoretically handle up to 5Gbps while USB 2.0 maxed out at a theoretical 480Mbps.

The good news for photographers, of course, is that it will no longer feel like you're sitting in front of your computer for a lifetime while waiting to transfer the contents of a high-capacty flash card to your PC.