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Everything You Need To Know About USB 3.0

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the it-goes-one-louder dept.

Networking 322

Esther Schindler writes "After a lengthy gestation period, the third generation of the Universal Serial Bus is making its way to the market. USB 3.0, also known as SuperSpeed USB, has throughput of up to 5 gigabits per second. That's even faster than the 3Gb/sec of SATA hard drives and 1Gb/sec of high-end networking in the home. USB 3.0: Everything You Need to Know goes into plenty of the techie details. But is it already obsolete — will LightPeak make USB 3.0 irrelevant?"

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322 comments

SuperSpeed USB... (5, Funny)

GuerillaRadio (818889) | more than 3 years ago | (#33390792)

...seriously? Will USB 6.0 be super-hyper-megaspeed USB?

Re:SuperSpeed USB... (5, Funny)

Zerak-Tul (1654309) | more than 3 years ago | (#33390812)

Ludicrous Speed USB...

Everything You Need to Know About Niggers (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33390846)

They stink. They can't speak proper English despite over 200 years of being born in this country. Their cultural contributions include gangsta rap, glorification of thugs and criminals, the welfare state, bastard children, poverty, low test scores and political correctness. Oh yeah and something about peanuts. Years of real racism didn't prevent the Jews from prospering or dozens of other groups yet every problem the nigger has is blamed on racism. If you blame the nigger's problems on his lack of self-determination then you're a terrible person.

hard disk speed (1)

goombah99 (560566) | more than 3 years ago | (#33390888)

I never see my hard disk data rate maxing out my connection speed, so I con't understand why all this emphasis on faster connections.

Re:hard disk speed (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33390932)

I never see my hard disk data rate maxing out my connection speed, so I con't understand why all this emphasis on faster connections.

Have you ever heard of SSDs?

Re:hard disk speed (3, Insightful)

Tynin (634655) | more than 3 years ago | (#33390974)

The only reason I can see would be if you had an external USB enclosure that housed multiple drives that you plan on RAIDing. With the speeds of SSD drives still ramping up, it is possible you could saturate even USB 3 with just 2 drives.

Re:hard disk speed (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 3 years ago | (#33391084)

And the WHY use USB? eStata is great and perfect for external drive use and is far more common than USB3.0 AND has a higher sustained transfer rate.

USB3.0 is interesting, but useless for external drives. eStata is the right direction for that.

Re:hard disk speed (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#33391348)

Useless? Most disks out there can't saturate the 3.0Gbps SATA yet. eSATA requires a separate power connector. USB3 devices are supposed to fall back to USB2. USB3 is going to be a great solution for external disks that are carted from place to place. Meanwhile most people who have any number of external disks would be better served by a bigger case with sleds in it, because they're not moving those disks around anyway, and it would be more efficient, catch less dust, make less noise, etc etc.

Re:hard disk speed (4, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 3 years ago | (#33391392)

The one major eSATA issue(I don't know why they overlooked this the first time) is power. For 3.5inch drives, or multi drive external towers/shelves, this doesn't matter at all. An external PSU is a given. For the "single 2.5 inch or smaller in portable case" case, the fact that USB3 delivers the bandwidth(and is backwards compatible right back to the two-1.1-ports stuff that they were shipping in the mid 90s) and the power, while eSATA delivers only the bandwidth, requiring a seperate connector for power, pretty much ruins things. If eSATA had included power from the start, it might have been a much better contender.

As a replacement for SCSI type use cases, of course, USB is a toy and eSATA or SAS is the natural replacement; but for the vast market for flash drives, 2.5 inch externals, and mass-market, works-with-anything 3.5 inch externals, eSATA is doomed compared to USB(especially since a USB port can be used for non storage purposes, while an eSATA port is pretty much storage only. In principle, a high speed serial interconnect like SATA could be used for other stuff; but I've never seen it actually done in practice.

Re:hard disk speed (2, Informative)

derGoldstein (1494129) | more than 3 years ago | (#33391492)

eSata doesn't hubs or daisy-chains, making it much more rigid. If you want that port to be "universal", then the space is better occupied by a USB3. (yes, I know that the eSata/USB [wikipedia.org] "solves" that, but I'd still rather have 1 format (to which I might be able to connect an HD video stream *or* an HD) than the hybrid port)

Re:hard disk speed (1)

S.O.B. (136083) | more than 3 years ago | (#33391536)

I agree. Different external devices have different requirements and trying to come up with a single spec to satisfy them all is going to result in a spec that is either too bloated it will be a monster to evolve or too full of compromises to be useful or possibly both.

I'd rather see one spec for high throughput devices like hard drives and raid arrays and a second spec for lower throughput devices like mice, keyboards and flash/portable drives.

This is not Lord of the Rings. We don't need the one cable "to rule them all".

Re:hard disk speed (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#33391040)

USB 2.0-based hard drives are a bit slow, as are USB 2.0-based flash drives. With the bandwith of USB 3.0 far exceeding the max throughput of today's (and tomorrow's) storage, it ensures that the standard has a longer life.

Re:hard disk speed (3, Interesting)

derGoldstein (1494129) | more than 3 years ago | (#33391552)

They're more than just a "bit" slow, IMO. An external HD connected by USB 2 can only really be used for backup, and even then it lags. Firewire is better, but driver problems will occur more often than with USB. Then there's eSata, of which you need 1 per drive. I really hope USB 3 becomes the standard for external storage, possibly even more common than eSata (even though, technically, eSata is cheaper when looking at the overall system).

Re:hard disk speed (2, Interesting)

rufty_tufty (888596) | more than 3 years ago | (#33391224)

What if you have 2 hard drives connected to a hub?
Backing up from a pen drive to an external drive would I thought be a common use case of bulk data transfer.Or from video camera to my mass storage device.
As soon as you allow hubs and caches and protocol overhead and software inefficiencies then a connection significantly faster than the media makes a lot of sense

Re:hard disk speed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33391356)

Its called future proofing. The sewers in London were built to cope with a population of 8 million when in fact the population at the time was 1 million.
USB3.0 will speed just as filth onto your screen in future years, as it does now.

Re:hard disk speed (1)

Jason Kimball (571886) | more than 3 years ago | (#33391444)

This is going to be necessary for more than just hard drives. Lots of multimedia devices are going to start needing significantly higher bandwidth. 4K video (2x2 times higher resolution than HD 1080P), faster removable flash memory for downloading your 150 megapixel images (from the prototype sensor Canon just announced), etc etc. Granted, most of this will be transferring to/from hard drives, but as several people mention blow, SSD HD speed is increasing. There's already a company that sells a PCI-E card with 16 flash chips RAIDed that can saturate a 10 gbit ethernet pipe.

Re:hard disk speed (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 3 years ago | (#33391578)

I never see my hard disk data rate maxing out my connection speed, so I con't understand why all this emphasis on faster connections.

How about professional audio and video interfaces?

not just hard drives (1)

nten (709128) | more than 3 years ago | (#33391584)

smoother webcams, better usb videocards, and I want a faster picoscope. Also you can run more things through it, as its got more power too. So several hard drives, and a couple sound cards along with your webcam.

Re:SuperSpeed USB... (4, Interesting)

RevRagnarok (583910) | more than 3 years ago | (#33390914)

The problem is the original nomenclature from USB 1.0 - "full speed" is a whopping 12Mbit/s (vs. "low speed" at 1.5Mb/s). Of course, compared to serial ports that were starting to push 300kbit/s, it was nice. So then USB 2.0 was "high speed" and for 3.0 they needed something "higher" than "high." Pretty stupid, especially when somebody says a USB 2.0 device runs at "full speed" it could simply be MarketSpeak(TM) saying that it won't slow the bus down below 2.0 but the device itself only communicates at 1.1 speeds.

( Oh, BTW, I vote for PlaidSpeed(TM)! )

Re:SuperSpeed USB... (5, Insightful)

blahplusplus (757119) | more than 3 years ago | (#33391330)

This is why they should just use bandwidth numbers. I never understood why they started language unrelated to the specifications.

Re:SuperSpeed USB... (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 3 years ago | (#33390968)

Seing how we have now Schutzstaffel USB - what was above the SS?

(seriously, it will get funny when buying USB gear in Germany - I might do it specifically for this effect after one too many beers in Berlin, some day ;) )

And as for Lightpeak - imagine a Beowulf cluster using those!

Re:SuperSpeed USB... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33391110)

You really don't want to try that joke in Germany. You could get arrested and face a fine or jail time.

Re:SuperSpeed USB... (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 3 years ago | (#33391244)

So you imply using the proper name of the technology, "SS USB", will be so funny?

Quantum leaps in speed? (2, Insightful)

lightspeedius (263290) | more than 3 years ago | (#33390808)

So, each USB iteration offers the smallest possible increments in speed?

Re:Quantum leaps in speed? (5, Insightful)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 3 years ago | (#33390954)

That term's annoying because it's trivially true and means nothing. All technological changes are quantised. You don't get a continuous change from the iPod Classic to the iPod Touch, outside of a Cronenberg-and-cheese-sandwich-induced nightmare.

Re:Quantum leaps in speed? (2, Funny)

oneiros27 (46144) | more than 3 years ago | (#33391000)

No, no.

It means that it has to take over for some other interface protocol, and then, once it's finished that, it can take over some other interface. The only problem is the random messages send to some device named 'Al' that's not actually on the network.

Proprietary (1, Troll)

Digital Vomit (891734) | more than 3 years ago | (#33390814)

The Universal Serial Bus (USB) has done wonders for creating a standard interface on PCs. Prior to the USB port, PCs were a mishmash of various proprietary ports, often single-vendor efforts. There was no effective means for transferring files between two PCs. ... USB freed us from proprietary solutions, proprietary software, and perhaps best of all, bent pins.

It really should be illegal to create proprietary connectors for anything. What a waste of time, resources, and technology.

Re:Proprietary (2, Funny)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 3 years ago | (#33390862)

It really should be illegal to create proprietary connectors for anything.

I must say that I support your point of view but your suggestion would go against the "American free spirit" and stifle innovation at the same time. We should look for a better solution.

Re:Proprietary (1)

kanto (1851816) | more than 3 years ago | (#33391042)

I must say that I support your point of view but your suggestion would go against the "American free spirit" and stifle innovation at the same time. We should look for a better solution.

Ah, so a United Nations Bus would be out of the question... dang.

Re:Proprietary (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 3 years ago | (#33391078)

All you have to do is have mandatory licensing of the technology. Fair pricing is a little bit of a pickle but should be solvable.

Re:Proprietary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33390928)

The problem isn't proprietary interfaces - they can be reverse engineered.

The problem is overreaching patent and copyright law that prevents said reverse engineering.

Re:Proprietary (1)

Dr_Barnowl (709838) | more than 3 years ago | (#33391086)

Yes, but the reason people design proprietary interfaces is because patent and copyright law lets them control which devices implement them.

Hence reducing protection of proprietary interfaces would lead to people saying "screw it, let's use the standard interface".

But really, why would you want 6 kinds of socket in your PC, or have to buy adapters that go in standard sockets so you can use their non-standard IO port? I remember the days of having to buy ISA cards to plug in your scanner, for heavens sake.

Re:Proprietary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33391102)

Reverse engineering is Legal in other parts of the world. in the EU and NZ for example.

IT is illegal in the EU to prevent interoperabiliy and goes against a fair competitive market if you block access hence RE is permitted if the company refuse to open up (even for a fee) a non standard.

Re:Proprietary (1)

PNutts (199112) | more than 3 years ago | (#33391030)

The Universal Serial Bus (USB) has done wonders for creating a standard interface on PCs. Prior to the USB port, PCs were a mishmash of various proprietary ports, often single-vendor efforts. There was no effective means for transferring files between two PCs. ... USB freed us from proprietary solutions, proprietary software, and perhaps best of all, bent pins.

It really should be illegal to create proprietary connectors for anything. What a waste of time, resources, and technology.

Agreed. But back to the original quote, I've used PC's since the PCjr (actually before if you include a TRS-80 CoCo) and I remember serial, parallel, and SCSI. I was able to transfer files with no issues using flopppies (or the CoCo's cassette player). They were quite effective at transfering files, including, say installing programs. Perhaps I was just a mainstream user, but methinks someone is rewriting history.

Re:Proprietary (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#33391120)

There was also ethernet. When I think of USB, I don't think "great way to transfer files", I think "generic I/O connector". Though of course any input/output stream can be treated as a file, but I don't think that's what they meant..

Re:Proprietary (1)

NJRoadfan (1254248) | more than 3 years ago | (#33391292)

The real issues were the configuration hassles lack of hot plugging of devices.

RS-232/422 serial: always had the hassle of setting baud rate, stop bits, etc.

Centronics/EPP/ECP Parallel port: Were an ugly hack job for true two way data (and devices other then printers) until ECP standards came into place. You also really couldn't reliably daisy chain more then one device+printer.

SCSI (the parallel variety, not SAS): Was straight forward for the most part (just set a unique ID for each device). Termination of the bus caused the most hassles, plus it wasn't hot pluggable.


One place USB did come in handy was human interface devices. It consolidated the following standards into one interface.
PS/2 Keyboard/Mouse: Not hot pluggable, limited to those two classes of input. These stuck around for awhile due to poor support in Windows 9x and early BIOS emulation for USB HID devices (most here likely have encountered at least one machine that you couldn't get into the BIOS setup with a USB keyboard). Things got better with Win2000/XP's superior USB support and DOS finally going away.

Joystick Port: Limited to game controllers for the most part. Until digital joysticks came out it was very limited in how many buttons it could support. USB wiped this one out pretty quickly

ADB: An Apple only bus for the most part. Far more elegant then what the PC had at the time (supported mouse, keyboard, joysticks on one bus) but slow, limited, and not hot pluggable. USB killed it overnight.

Re:Proprietary (2, Insightful)

JasterBobaMereel (1102861) | more than 3 years ago | (#33391558)

Before USB

      RS232 - Open standard
      SCSI - Standard - No Pins
      PCI - Standard
      IEEE 1284/Parallel - Standard
      FireWire - When available - Standard - No Pins

Where were all these non-standard proprietary connectors ...?

      And is it just me or are many of these still around because USB2 does not replace them ...and USB 3 won't either ?

       

Bits vs bytes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33390854)

Ermm...How many bits do your bytes have

Re:Bits vs bytes (1)

leuk_he (194174) | more than 3 years ago | (#33391024)

Hmm, that might seem silly, but the question is right. USB promised 480 mbit/seconds, but on very fast hardware i can only transfer data at 28Mbyte/second. that is less than 50% of the promised speed or 17 bits per byte. (at least i would not be suprised if the 480Mbit contains a stop bit and a start bit for each byte . USB3.0 in ealry test reaches Speeds 2 to 3 times as fast [computerworld.com] as usb 2.0 Not bad, but not exceeding Gbit lan or SATA.

An other advantage, greater power control, and allow more poer for devices is entirely missed in the article.

Re:Bits vs bytes (1)

runningman24 (1172197) | more than 3 years ago | (#33391452)

An other advantage, greater power control, and allow more poer for devices is entirely missed in the article.

I actually read the article, and no it isn't.

Cost of USB 3.0 vs lightpeak (2, Insightful)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 3 years ago | (#33390900)

One detail missing from the article was the relative costs of the two technologies, with the popularity of net books and the like the cheaper technology will probably come out ahead in the long run.

Re:Cost of USB 3.0 vs lightpeak (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33390946)

More like: "with the popularity of money the cheaper technology will probably come out ahead in the long run." The success of netbooks is a symptom of a deeper economic relationship.

Re:Cost of USB 3.0 vs lightpeak (2)

EraserMouseMan (847479) | more than 3 years ago | (#33390990)

LightPeak is a buzz word. That's it. It's light years away from actually showing up on devices in your local Best Buy. Far from making USB 3.0 obsolete.

Re:Cost of USB 3.0 vs lightpeak (2)

Anpheus (908711) | more than 3 years ago | (#33391082)

Light Peak should be available by the second half of 2011 in higher end desktops from OEMs that have opted into it.

Re:Cost of USB 3.0 vs lightpeak (0)

jimicus (737525) | more than 3 years ago | (#33391114)

LightPeak is a buzz word. That's it. It's light years away from actually showing up on devices in your local Best Buy. Far from making USB 3.0 obsolete.

Pet peeve: A light year is not a unit of time, it's a unit of distance. You'd be more likely to describe LightPeak as being years away than being miles away, no?

Re:Cost of USB 3.0 vs lightpeak (0)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#33391150)

Psst.. light years are a measure of distance, not time.. I'd hide if I were you.

Re:Cost of USB 3.0 vs lightpeak (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#33391426)

Whoooosh, you missed it... by almost as many light-years as intel will miss the market by with LightPeak.

Re:Cost of USB 3.0 vs lightpeak (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#33391504)

Yeah, I still don't see it. If it was meant to be a pun, it was a bad one, and not in the bad-funny kind of way.

Re:Cost of USB 3.0 vs lightpeak (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#33391576)

Yeah, I still don't see it. If it was meant to be a pun, it was a bad one, and not in the bad-funny kind of way.

The commenter wasn't saying that LightPeak was years away, they were saying it was miles away, but miles are too small a unit so they used Light-years. When someone misses a target, even a temporal one, we don't say "missed it by a minute!" we say missed it by a mile. The author intended to use the term to describe distance, and you derided them for using the term to describe time. There was no pun, really, just your knee jerking. You should have that checked.

Re:Cost of USB 3.0 vs lightpeak (1)

sgraar (958944) | more than 3 years ago | (#33391152)

If it is light years away, when should we expect it to arrive? Is it coming at a speed close to that of light in a vacuum?

Cost isn't the only factor. (1)

bareman (60518) | more than 3 years ago | (#33391270)

Marketing and Political connections also have to be superior in order to win the survival of the fittest contest between technologies. One only need to reflect on the price/performance of Superdisk vs. ZIPdisk, or BETA vs. VHS to see that the more technologically and economically fit can lose to a product with superior marketing and politics.

Re:Cost of USB 3.0 vs lightpeak (1)

Dancindan84 (1056246) | more than 3 years ago | (#33391290)

Backwards compatibility is the other big factor after cost. If USB3.0 is backwards compatible (which I assume it is) that's going to be a huge advantage. Why get something better but more expensive when I still have a camera, printer, external HDD etc. etc. that can't use it when I can get something almost as good that will work for all those (and my new USB3.0 versions of them as I replace them).

Re:Cost of USB 3.0 vs lightpeak (1)

rufty_tufty (888596) | more than 3 years ago | (#33391306)

You bring up cost:
Light peak requires a fibre optic connection - so you need multiple chips to do an interface, whereas with usb3 the same chip that is your usb logic can also be your usb phy, so it will be the technologically cheaper solution.
So for use in mobile devices it will be cheaper to use usb3 because of the lower part count and smaller space requirements.
This is ignoring licensing issues of course.

Re:Cost of USB 3.0 vs lightpeak (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33391360)

The reason LightPeak will fail and USB 3.0 will survive is backwards compatibility. Nobody is going to want to have yet another type of port on their PC and hardware manufacturers aren't going to want to have to integrate yet another type of connector on drives and peripherals. USB 3.0 is backwards compatible, which means all of your current USB devices can plug right into it and your PC gets to maintain uniform interfaces.

theOnion (3, Funny)

bmajik (96670) | more than 3 years ago | (#33390910)

Re:theOnion (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33391104)

Have you even seen the five-bladed razor [gillette.com]? Don't diss it before you try it. You aren't a man if you don't own a five-bladed battery powered razor in racing colors with an ergonomic grip and a special side razor that you can use to trim your sideburns. You are still technically a man if you own all of that but don't have a flashing low battery power indicator--just a sad a pathetic one.

Sure, it's fast compared to outdated stuff... (4, Insightful)

Timothy Brownawell (627747) | more than 3 years ago | (#33390918)

SATA is up to 6.0 Gb/s now, and networking is starting to hit 10Gb/s.

Re:Sure, it's fast compared to outdated stuff... (0, Offtopic)

Lussarn (105276) | more than 3 years ago | (#33391020)

USB is a universal interface, of course it comes with some limitations. What if you needed a special port for your memory stick, a different for hard drive, another one for your mp3 player and yet another one for your GPS, mouse, keyboard, external soundcard, or the gadget Rocket launcher. You would end up with 50 different ports and a bunch of Add-in cards.

USB solves all this, with some limitations (SATA is faster for drives, ethernet has faster networking). USB3 looks to me like it's going to rock, and it will problably not saturate harddrive speeds for a few years to come. It is much needed though since USB2 is just to slow for todays harddrives.

USB will be the next RS232 serial port (4, Interesting)

adosch (1397357) | more than 3 years ago | (#33390936)

Contrary to the lame doomsday message IFTA, USB isn't going away, people. I see all the millions of devices that use USB for data transfer, power charging, ect. not to mention cellular phone market is finally starting to standardize to micro-USB. On top of that, there's too many TTL 5v devices out there built and designed around USB that it would cause some serious chaos if it did go away. There's no way that something like LightPeak is going to come in and whisk it off of computer hardware manufacturer's list of "things to provide". It may be a high-speed fad like Firewire or something of the recent past, but USB is here to stay.

Re:USB will be the next RS232 serial port (1)

paradxum (67051) | more than 3 years ago | (#33391076)

I have to agree. USB, although shorter, provides power. This is huge.

From my understanding Light Peak Does not. This excludes a whole range of items from using it: thumb drives, keyboards, mice....

Power on the cable is important. We even add it to networking (POE). We already have the same speed in networking, and USB 3.0 speed is nothing to sneeze at.

Unless Light Peak provides/adds power in the spec, I think it's doomed to fail (or just become the next firewire as parent said.)
Although I could see a composite cable, fiber for signaling, copper for power. Maybe USB 4.0 or Light Peak 2.0? ;)

Micro-USB (2, Informative)

Errol backfiring (1280012) | more than 3 years ago | (#33391098)

.. not to mention cellular phone market is finally starting to standardize to micro-USB.

Finally? I hope all the companies that implemented that horrible plug will go back to mini-usb. It is as big, by far more robust, you can get cables for it and you are not afraid to plug it in. And plugging in is easier, as the plug will "find" its way in.

There has never been a worse plug than micro-usb.

Re:Micro-USB (2, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#33391190)

Finally? I hope all the companies that implemented that horrible plug will go back to mini-usb. It is as big, by far more robust, you can get cables for it and you are not afraid to plug it in. And plugging in is easier, as the plug will "find" its way in.

You can get a micro-USB cable at any halfway decent camera store. It is not that much more fragile than Mini-USB. They both "find" their way in; I find that most micro-USB connectors are more recessed into the plastic (possibly by specification?) and thus cheap connector edges are less likely to hang up, which IS a real problem (if an exceedingly minor one) with Mini-USB that you don't tend to see with any other variant.

There has never been a worse plug than micro-usb.

Clearly you don't remember PS/2 ports, even though you probably have some in your house. Actually any Mini-DIN is shit. I also have a certain hatred in my heart for RJs, I think they are shit. They are cheap though, so at least THEY have a purpose. The Mini-DIN is just a gigantic failure of imagination.

Re:Micro-USB (1)

Dr_Barnowl (709838) | more than 3 years ago | (#33391388)

My main complaint about DIN is that it's a bitch to solder, especially the smaller types. I suppose it also works itself loose rather easily because of the circular form factor.

That said, I have a lot of affection for my IBM Model M, so I shall be sad when PS/2 ports are gone completely and I have to chance it with some inferior USB -> PS/2 converter that might not provide enough current, or doesn't have proper key rollover.

Re:Micro-USB (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#33391502)

My main complaint about DIN is that it's a bitch to solder, especially the smaller types. I suppose it also works itself loose rather easily because of the circular form factor.

The inherent problem with Mini-DIN (and to a lesser but similar extent, DIN) is that it's not self-guiding enough. You have to be within just a few degrees or the connector won't self-align. All the other common round connectors are non-aligned, so it breaks the paradigm in a way that is confusing to the typical user. And you can't tell with your hands (unless you are a master of negative braille, and the connectors are not particularly recessed) which way the connector goes, so you have to look at what you're doing. PS/2 compounded this problem by putting two devices with different signalling on the same connector. This is especially egregious because AFAIK only intel chipsets would ever autosense and autoswap the ports, but the port was "invented" by IBM. I haven't had to solder a DIN connector in aeons because keyboards are free... and they have molded cables which can be repurposed. And frankly, I don't expect to ever have to solder another one. I have zero PCs without USB now, so the only thing I expect to ever have to plug in again with DIN is MIDI, unless I get another TG16.

Re:USB will be the next RS232 serial port (1)

DrXym (126579) | more than 3 years ago | (#33391390)

Light Peak is not just being touted for external devices but also to allow computers to replace their various internal databuses with a single bus. Everything from eSATA to PCI-Express could all be replaced by optical cables. I can't even imagine what such a motherboard would look like, but I assume it would have some multiple of Light Peak connectors running between HDD, USB, graphics module, video output etc. with optical modules on the endpoints. If that's the case, then there is no reason such a computer wouldn't expose USB 3.0 and an external Light Peak connector side by side since USB is running over Light Peak any way.

IMO USB 3.0 seems a bit of a lame duck for high speed storage - better than nothing but not anywhere as good as it should be. But I wonder if Light Peak is so ambitious that it might be years off from realising itself and people have no other choice but to go with USB 3.0.

Re:USB will be the next RS232 serial port (1)

mozumder (178398) | more than 3 years ago | (#33391432)

Light Peak will also include copper wiring for power.

All it'll take for USB to go away is for Apple to remove it from their computers, and everyone else will follow.

Backward compatibility... (1, Insightful)

codewarren (927270) | more than 3 years ago | (#33390962)

But with USB 3.0, even though the plug looks the same, the cable has extra wires. Because of this, it will not work in a 2.0 port. The edge of a USB 3.0 plug is colored blue so you know it’s a 3.0.

Fuck the blind!

Re:Backward compatibility... (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#33391074)

But with USB 3.0, even though the plug looks the same, the cable has extra wires. Because of this, it will not work in a 2.0 port. The edge of a USB 3.0 plug is colored blue so you know it's a 3.0.

Fuck the blind!

they're only fucking the one-armed blind, because the other end of the cable has a different plug, at least in scenarios where a USB A-to-B cable is currently used. Also later in the article it says you can plug a USB3 cable into a USB2 port and it will fall back to USB2, so I declare this article to be a greasy, floating piece of shit. It's nice that it's written at a junior high level though, because you can use it to confuse near-illiterates as well as the computer savvy.

Re:Backward compatibility... (2, Interesting)

jimicus (737525) | more than 3 years ago | (#33391246)

I'm not sure I'd trust that article entirely. From TFA:

But with USB 3.0, even though the plug looks the same, the cable has extra wires. Because of this, it will not work in a 2.0 port..............
On the plus side, you will be able to plug USB 3.0 devices and cables into the USB 2.0 ports on your current computer, but you won’t get the speed advantage.

(my emphasis)

Anyone care to explain this apparent contradiction?

Re:Backward compatibility... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33391252)

wtf? The whole point of usb is that it works. I can stick a 2.0 device in a 1.0/1.1 port. It will be slow. I can stick a 1.0/1.1 device in a 2.0 port, again slow. Now they are saying I can't stick a 3.0 in a 2.0? WTF? If they are breaking compatibility, they need a new connector (a non-symmetrical connector please)

Re:Backward compatibility... (1)

codewarren (927270) | more than 3 years ago | (#33391366)

Fuck the blind!

I think there's some confusion here. I was merely making a plea that the blind need love too.

Re:Backward compatibility... (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 3 years ago | (#33391430)

Not just the blind. Have these people ever worked with average consumers? Even though the edge is blue, that's really not enough of a difference for most users. I can see tons of support calls because the "thing doesn't work when I plug it in." when the cable used was wrong. Also if there was so much break in compatibility, why not just change the plugs? It's not like having the same plug was going to help other than initial manufacturing costs.

But with USB 3.0, even though the plug looks the same, the cable has extra wires. Because of this, it will not work in a 2.0 port. The edge of a USB 3.0 plug is colored blue so you know it's a 3.0. The USB 3.0 cable has nine wires, compared with the five in a USB 2.0 cable, even though it's the same thickness.

Likewise, the end of the cable that connects to a USB device, such as a printer or external drive, is also different from the old USB 2.0 connector. Because of this, you can't use USB 3.0 cables to connect USB 2.0 devices. Also, if your drive, scanner, printer, camera, or whatever is a USB 3.0 device, then you must use a 3.0 cable.

Useless article (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33390964)

So is this 5Gbps data rate constant or burstable like USB 2.0? USB may be great for keyboards, printers and pendrives but professional users need constant throughput, hence firewire.

Yes, I know that your h264 consumer camcorder uses USB. High end multichannel audio or HD video aquisition devices do not.

Network? Home network, listen to me! (2, Insightful)

Suki I (1546431) | more than 3 years ago | (#33390970)

Home network, let me introduce you to your new friend USB 3.0. He is really fast, so I expect the rest of you to keep up! Don't be the bottleneck and you get to stay right where you are instead of being tossed in the bin.

Re:Network? Home network, listen to me! (1)

Jeslijar (1412729) | more than 3 years ago | (#33391090)

So what hard drive are you using that can store all this data at 5gbps?

Is it made with pixie dust? or does it just cost an arm a leg and half of the oil in the middle east? Oh wait, its just four hundred thousand 5.25" floppy drives in a custom raid solution. Thats nerdcore.

Re:Network? Home network, listen to me! (1)

kyrio (1091003) | more than 3 years ago | (#33391350)

There's this newfangled thing I picked up a while ago called SSD...

Design (5, Funny)

Spad (470073) | more than 3 years ago | (#33390996)

But with USB 3.0, even though the plug looks the same, the cable has extra wires. Because of this, it will not work in a 2.0 port. The edge of a USB 3.0 plug is colored blue so you know it’s a 3.0.

But it'll still take you 3 tries to get it plugged in the right way around.

But later in the same article (2, Interesting)

petes_PoV (912422) | more than 3 years ago | (#33391128)

On the plus side, you will be able to plug USB 3.0 devices and cables into the USB 2.0 ports on your current computer, but you won’t get the speed advantage.

So one place says it won't work in a 2.0 port, then it says it will .... gah! . . . . . I know they mean (at least, I hope they mean) that you won't get USB3 speeds, but contradictions like this doesn't help the article's credibility

Re:But later in the same article (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 3 years ago | (#33391478)

No it's worse than that. A USB 3.0 device cannot use a USB 2.0 cable or port, and USB 2.0 devices cannot use USB 3.0 cables. Basically almost no backwards compatibility but they are keeping the plugs the same. The only difference is USB 3.0 plugs will have a blue edge. I think that's rather stupid not to differentiate further.

Re:But later in the same article (3, Informative)

Dr_Barnowl (709838) | more than 3 years ago | (#33391568)

They are referring to the "B" type connectors which per the standard are only used at the device end. The 3.0 B plugs are not compatible with the 2.0 B receptacle by dint of having an "extra bit" bolted on, whereas the 3.0 A plugs are compatible with the 2.0 A receptacle, which is typically used on the host PC.

So essentially
    - you can connect any two devices with an old A-B cable and it will still work
    - you can't use the new cable with old devices

Which seems very sensible - you won't have new cables unless you get new devices, and you can't waste your new cables connecting up old devices that can't use their extra wires, whereas in a pinch you can still use an old cable with a new device albeit at lower speed.

eghads! (1)

onyxruby (118189) | more than 3 years ago | (#33391062)

Look, this is the way technology works. A standard is invented, it is faster than the old, peripherals are manufactured and sold to the standard. The standard becomes prevalent and widely used and after a while the standard becomes saturated or limitations that were previously viewed as acceptable become more and more unacceptable. During this entire time the standards committee works on replacing the very standard they themselves setup with a new and better one. The new and better one will make the old standard obsolete, this is the normal course of action in technology.

Now why on earth would you ask if something else will make the new standard obsolete? Does the submitter have any experience with IT at all? I'll tell you what, you know what they're doing right now? They're working on USB 4!

Lots of problems with that article (1)

xarium (608956) | more than 3 years ago | (#33391138)

Claims of 5GB/s aren't even backed by the USB working group which says 3.2GB/s will realistically be the upper limit.

All existing cable and plug combinations remain backwards compatible, but the article claims otherwise, there are only some introduced permutations that won't work.

And when did USB 2.0 become 5 wires?

The author attacks Intel about foot-dragging on the USB 3.0 spec rather disingenously since it was Intel that lead the charge on USB 1.0, 1.1 and 2.0. It was their technology originally.

But what can one expect from a technology website that censors the word 'assuming' (comes out as ***uming, I shit you not!).

Lots of problems with your Codec (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#33391286)

Claims of 5GB/s aren't even backed by the USB working group which says 3.2GB/s will realistically be the upper limit.

Clearly you fail to understand the difference between GB and Gb. Reread the article, and then don't come back to comment until you're a nerd.

All existing cable and plug combinations remain backwards compatible, but the article claims otherwise, there are only some introduced permutations that won't work.

The author first claims it won't work, then claims that they will. It seems like the first time he meant to say that you won't get the speed advantage of USB3 if you plug into USB2. You are both wrong.

And when did USB 2.0 become 5 wires?

Mini-USB [pinouts.ru], please try to keep up, if you can. And I know you can't.

The author attacks Intel about foot-dragging on the USB 3.0 spec rather disingenously since it was Intel that lead the charge on USB 1.0, 1.1 and 2.0. It was their technology originally.

There's nothing disingenuous about it, and you don't understand the situation if you try to apply that word. Or perhaps you don't understand the word? The foot-dragging is only made more apparent due to intel's backing of LightPeak. Are you paying attention to the same world as the rest of us?

But what can one expect from a technology website that censors the word 'assuming' (comes out as ***uming, I shit you not!).

The article is crap. Unfortunately, you did not pick on its weak points except relating compatibility, and then you failed. Try harder.

And real world speed vs SATA? (2, Interesting)

AC-x (735297) | more than 3 years ago | (#33391326)

USB 2.0 was such a bottleneck that a stopgap was introduced called eSATA, which allowed for external drives that used a SATA hard drive interface. Well, USB 3.0 pretty much that out to pasture

Sure USB 3 might be rated up to 5Gbits/sec, but in a real world test will it actually be faster than SATA? In file copy tets Firewire at 400mbits/sec is 15-50% faster than USB2 at 480mbits/sec

Imagine the possibilities! (2, Funny)

bynary (827120) | more than 3 years ago | (#33391402)

People have a hard enough time saying USB (I often hear UBS). I can imagine this conversation taking place:

Computer sales guy: Hi! Welcome to (insert name of favorite electronics store). What brings you in?
Customer: I need one of those "Leet Speak" things.
CSG: You mean a gaming headset?
Cust.: No...wait, maybe. No.
CSG: What are you trying to do with your computer?
Cust.: Oh! I remember...it's a Light Speed Drive!
CSG: You're looking for a DVD-burner with LiteScribe?
Cust.: I already have a DVD. What's LiteScribe?
CSG: Nevermind.

Will LightPeak make USB 3.0 irrelevant? (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33391420)

Yes, of course: It will be as irrelevant as USB2.0 was as soon as FireWire was introduced...

Ohwait...

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