Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Asus Delivers Speed Boost With USB Attached SCSI Protocol

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the for-sufficiently-small-values-of-universal dept.

Data Storage 93

MojoKid writes "When USB debuted in 1999, it offered maximum throughput of 12Mb/s. Today, USB 3.0 offers 4.8Gb/s. Interestingly, modern USB 3 controllers use the same Bulk-Only Transport (BOT) protocol that first debuted in 1999. Before the advent of USB 3, relying on BOT made sense. Since hard drives were significantly faster than the USB 2 bus itself, the HDD was always going to be waiting on the host controller. USB 3 changed that. With 4.8Gbits/s of throughput (600MB/s), only the highest-end hardware is capable of saturating the bus. That's exposed some of BOT's weaknesses. UASP, or the USB Attached SCSI Protocol, is designed to fix these limitations, and bring USB 3 fully into the 21st century. It does this by implementing queue functions, reducing command latency, and allowing the device to transfer commands and data independently from each other. Asus is the first manufacturer to have implemented UASP in current generation motherboards and the benchmarks show transfer speeds can be improved significantly."

cancel ×

93 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

This will never catch on if... (2)

kungfuj35u5 (1331351) | more than 2 years ago | (#40723103)

Asus doesn't inexpensively license the technology to other board oems. Not sure how much of this is software and how much is hardware, but if there is a special USB-SCSI command set that is separate from plain SCSI then they will need to be open and supporting on that front for all OS's as well.

Re:This will never catch on if... (1)

jbolden (176878) | more than 2 years ago | (#40723267)

Or Asus sells their own external storage devices to their customers that are Asus branded for use with Asus machines. They have a pretty popular gaming line, which could drive enough volume. And that would give an advantage to their server line and their workstation line over the competition.

Re:This will never catch on if... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40723303)

Or Asus sells their own external storage devices to their customers that are Asus branded for use with Asus machines. They have a pretty popular gaming line, which could drive enough volume. And that would give an advantage to their server line and their workstation line over the competition.

If so they might just as well use ESATA or SAS or something. The entire point of USB is that it's open enough to be used by many different manufacturers and still keep everything working together.

Re:This will never catch on if... (2)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 2 years ago | (#40723467)

In the protocol arena, I find it funny to discuss adding SCSI moves a technology into "the twenty-first century".. :-)

Speaking of that, something else strikes me...

USB debuted in 1999?

I had USB in Windows 98.

So 1.0 must have been so slow, that it ran backwards in time!

Re:This will never catch on if... (4, Informative)

mister_playboy (1474163) | more than 2 years ago | (#40723521)

USB debuted in 1999?

I had USB in Windows 98.

TFS is just plain wrong. From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USB [wikipedia.org] ...

"The original USB 1.0 specification, which was introduced in January 1996, defined data transfer rates of 1.5 Mbit/s "Low Speed" and 12 Mbit/s "Full Speed". The first widely used version of USB was 1.1, which was released in September 1998. The 12 Mbit/s data rate was intended for higher-speed devices such as disk drives, and the lower 1.5 Mbit/s rate for low data rate devices such as joysticks."

Re:This will never catch on if... (2, Informative)

otuz (85014) | more than 2 years ago | (#40723525)

No, USB 1.0 headers were present on some motherboards in 1996 or so. Practically no device support, barely anyone knew what it was. USB 1.1 debuted in 1998. iMac was the first machine to get rid of the old peripherial ports in favor of USB 1.1, in 1998. It drove great demand for USB devices. USB 2.0 was early 00's stuff.

Re:This will never catch on if... (1)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 2 years ago | (#40723587)

I think everyone at the time (asus, tyan, supermicro) had headers on the board for this new serial stuff but no devices and no standard pinout, either. not even sure the bios had much but they DID have headers and so could list 'usb' on the mobo box.

firewire was also just starting out and it was not clear which one would be used or what device or if either protocol would 'win'. firewire didn't appear until later but usb 'headers' were a bad industry joke when this was just coming out. I think it was about 94 or 95 (I remember which company I was at, but not the exact year..)

Re:This will never catch on if... (1)

FirephoxRising (2033058) | more than 2 years ago | (#40727875)

Now we have the non-standard usb 3.0 problems, I can't wait until all motherboards have the 20 pin connector and all cases use it, no pass-though-the-case to the rear USB ports please! With that said, this new system seems like a good idea, here's hoping that Asus can licence the tech reasonably.

Re:This will never catch on if... (2)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 2 years ago | (#40723731)

Yeah the problem on the Windows side was drivers and devices. Kinda chicken and egg problem. Manufacturers didn't want to develop drivers and make devices until they knew consumers would buy it. Consumers wouldn't buy devices until they knew there were drivers. USB would be adopted eventually; it was just a matter of time.

The iMac didn't start USB adoption but it helped speed it along as there was only USB or FireWire. FireWire would be too expensive and overkill for most peripherals. Manufacturers knew that they could make devices for Macs at least. Having devices both PC and Mac compatible at the same time helped lower the barriers. In the long run it would be slightly cheaper as manufacturers didn't have to support 3 or 4 connectors anymore (DIN, de-9, LPT, game port, etc.)

Re:This will never catch on if... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40725487)

I remember an IRC argument that broke out over whether or not to start using USB at the time. It was pointed out that having the USB bus sap off 25% of the (133 MHz) CPU just for a keyboard and mouse was not a good idea. Win-modems, chipsets, and other hardware that dumped off the calculations on the CPU where popular with OEMs at the time.

Re:This will never catch on if... (2)

jbolden (176878) | more than 2 years ago | (#40723523)

Good point. But it appears that USB hardware is cheaper than esata, I don't know if that reflects costs of manufacturer but I'd assume so.

Also you could have it fall back to the standard.

Re:This will never catch on if... (5, Informative)

mcbridematt (544099) | more than 2 years ago | (#40723315)

It isn't proprietary - it is part of the USB3 spec, but hardware that actually supports it appears to have been missing, until now. There has been a Linux driver for a while now, and TFA says Windows 8 will implement it too.

Re:This will never catch on if... (1)

del_diablo (1747634) | more than 2 years ago | (#40725191)

And while we first question it, will it fix the shortcomings USB keyboards has to PS/2 keyboards?

Re:This will never catch on if... (1)

isorox (205688) | more than 2 years ago | (#40726281)

And while we first question it, will it fix the shortcomings USB keyboards has to PS/2 keyboards?

Which shortcomings are those?

Re:This will never catch on if... (3, Informative)

lindi (634828) | more than 2 years ago | (#40726385)

You can only use six non-modifier keys at the same time. This is a problem for playing older multiplayer games. See appendix B.1 of the USB HID 1.1 specification.

Re:This will never catch on if... (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 2 years ago | (#40724509)

Yeah that is what sucks with all these cool little features, it may help to sell a particular brand but it never becomes industry wide. Take Asrock and their XFast tech, I've seen as much as 50% boost to the throughput on my USB 2 flash sticks using XFast USB but you'll not be seeing anybody else with any of the XFast stuff because its exclusive to Asrock.

So while its cool tech you're right, other than a few Asus models it'll not go anywhere.

Re:This will never catch on if... (2)

dotancohen (1015143) | more than 2 years ago | (#40728103)

Asus doesn't inexpensively license the technology to other board oems. Not sure how much of this is software and how much is hardware, but if there is a special USB-SCSI command set that is separate from plain SCSI then they will need to be open and supporting on that front for all OS's as well.

I came to say the same thing. Linux users can no longer buy Asus motherboards (at least not the budget boards) as the new integrated LAN card does not support the legacy Realtek drivers. Even Windows cannot get online with them until one installs the near 1 GiB "driver disk" with all its other unrelated junk. And before you tell me to just install a PCI LAN card, some models (including the one I bought [asus.com] ) don't even have PCI slots!

I didn't mean to rant. But Asus can no longer be trusted as a supplier, so any technology that is Asus-only is DOA.

Re:This will never catch on if... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40730065)

That wouldn't stop you buying a PCI Express network adapter.

Re:This will never catch on if... (1)

dotancohen (1015143) | more than 2 years ago | (#40730397)

That wouldn't stop you buying a PCI Express network adapter.

None of my local retailers stock them, and ordering one rivals the price of another motherboard.

Re:This will never catch on if... (1)

Randle_Revar (229304) | more than 2 years ago | (#40731263)

Wait, really? Where do you live again (I should remember from Debian-User, but I don't)?

Anyway, is looks like r8169.ko should be fine since 3.2?

Re:This will never catch on if... (1)

dotancohen (1015143) | more than 2 years ago | (#40734011)

Thanks, I live in Beersheba, Israel. I don't see your name / handle in the Debian archives!

Although Debian and Suse both detected the LAN card as r8169, this motherboard actually uses an 8111E. The drivers for this card are not included in the kernels of any released Linux OS, I don't know about the recent 3.5, though. My complaint is that the LAN card does not support the legacy drivers in reduced-thoroughput mode. Even Windows 7 would not get online with a stock Windows install, one needs to install the driver disk that came with the motherboard. And getting the right Realtek drivers for Linux was a pain. The official Reaktek site would not let me download from any of the 6 mirrors, and they use Javascript and HTTP authentication tricks to prevent one from downloading with wget (I tried from a server in Germany that I have access to, I thought it might have better connectivity to the European mirror). I finally downloaded from a mirror on Google Code.

Even with the correct driver, I cannot enable DHCP. I don't know what kind of LAN card issue would prevent DHCP from working, and I really cannot prove that the DHCP problem is related to the LAN card drivers, but I could only get online by manually setting the machine's IP address to a static address. I don't claim to be a networking guru, so perhaps it is an issue that is possible to fix, but I burned quite a few hours on the issue, it would have cost me less time/money to buy another motherboard.

Apple does it better, Apple did it first. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40723137)

ASUS is an also ran.

Think different.
Think BETTER.
Think Apple!

Re:Apple copied it from IBM, is a patent troll (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40723213)

BOYCOTT APPLE!!!!

Re:Apple copied it from IBM, is a patent troll (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40725357)

Good luck with that slick. Apple is the largest, most successful company on EARTH and this is due to a number of things:

1. Excelling at engineering. Contrast this to the crap that comes out of the likes of ASUS, Microsoft and especially the open sores community.
2. Amazing sense of design. Again, contrast this to their competitors who couldn't design their way out of a paper bag.
3. Exclusive marketing to a SUPERIOR grade of customer. This is why everyone who matters, from top grade artists, scientists and even the president of the united states, all exclusively use Apple products. When your IQ gets about 140, Apple becomes the only rational choice.

So all five of you low-iq lamedroid "enthusiasts" can go ahead and boycott Apple products, for all the good it'll do you. Losers.

Think different.
Think BETTER.
Think Apple!

Re:Apple copied it from IBM, is a patent troll (0)

epyT-R (613989) | more than 2 years ago | (#40725973)

1. they use the same parts as everyone else. their software is as bloated and buggy as everyone else
2. appealing to effete homosexuals does not imply good design.
3. you mean pathetic, ignorant, arrogant, narcissistic, histrionic assholes who think they're a cut above when they're just defending a bandwagon the same way they claim their 'lower castes' do, except that they're easier to rip off because they know jack and shit about technology. they just think expensive+shiny plastic = better. ignorance is bliss for these types. they also like using fallacies such as argument from popularity, from authority, and ad hominem. I guess IQ 140+ people aren't so bright after all. I wonder what happens at 170+? what phone does wozniak use? it isn't an iphone last I heard.

Apple users aren't much different from scientologists: wealthy, popular, yet brainwashed and stupid.

I like my drives (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40723199)

like I like my women, FAST, WIDE and SCSI

Re:I like my drives (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40723579)

Unfortunately, Australian's pronounce it "scuzzy".

Except Old Mac users, because even their acronyms need to sound sexy...

Re:I like my drives (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40723793)

Unfortunately, Australian's pronounce it "scuzzy".

That's the point. *whoosh*

Re:I like my drives (1)

spauldo (118058) | more than 2 years ago | (#40725303)

Every american sysadmin I've talked to also calls it "scuzzy". I wasn't even aware some people pronounced it "sexy".

Re:I like my drives (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40725437)

As a British technician, I can say it's 'scuzzy' here too - at least in both of the departments I've worked at.

Re:I like my drives (1)

Mashiki (184564) | more than 2 years ago | (#40723681)

Hey that sounds a lot like my booze. I always like swill liquor.

Re:I like my drives (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40724775)

like I like my women, FAST, WIDE and SCSI

Some are so wide that are even bus parallelism is possible.

Re:I like my drives (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40724973)

Oh yeah? Well I like my women the way I like my filesystems. FAT and 32!

Re:I like my drives (1)

gstrickler (920733) | more than 2 years ago | (#40726147)

I like my women on my drive.

Re:I like my drives (1)

dotancohen (1015143) | more than 2 years ago | (#40728121)

like I like my women, FAST, WIDE and SCSI

You remind me of the time that I discovered that USB and LAN ports have the same width. It turns out that when plugging in a keyboard without looking, it might wind up in the unused onboard LAN port. That was the same day that I was repremanded for trying to plug something else into the wrong port. Both experiences ended with me frustrated.

Re:I like my drives (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40730577)

Europeans pronounce it like the Italian word 'scusi'.

Do you suppose this USB thing's gonna catch on after parallel, serial and iSCSI?

throughput vs bandwidth (4, Insightful)

sribe (304414) | more than 2 years ago | (#40723209)

When USB debuted in 1999, it offered maximum throughput of 12Mb/s.

Well, no, it didn't. It was based on 12Mb/s signaling rate, but delivered substantially lower actual throughput. There's a paper on the usb.org website that runs through it all, showing how the relatively large overhead of the protocol affects throughput.

Re:throughput vs bandwidth (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40723451)

Plus USB didn't debute in 1999, 1.0 was released in 1996.

Re:throughput vs bandwidth (1)

otuz (85014) | more than 2 years ago | (#40723539)

..and 1.1 debuted in 1998.

Re:throughput vs bandwidth (1)

Phreakiture (547094) | more than 2 years ago | (#40724359)

I wonder if the summary should have said USB 2.0?

I first had access to a machine with USB at least a couple of years before 1999; it was a brand-new, state-of-the-art desktop machine that I'd been issued at work. It was issued to me when I started that job, and that would have been probably 1997, if I recall right.

Re:throughput vs bandwidth (2)

tjb (226873) | more than 2 years ago | (#40723565)

You could get 8Mbps on the isochronous channel if you were the only isochronous device on the bus, plus, IIRC, 256Kbps on the bulk channel in both directions and a teensy little bit more on the interrupt channel if you were being creative/dangerous. If there were no isochronous devices on the bus, I think you could get something like 8.5Mbps on the bulk channel.

Of course, it's been over a decade since I've worked on a USB device, so I could be wrong. Except about the isochronous channel - coming up with a way to shove 8192Kbps of ATM traffic through an 8Mbps USB 1.0 isochronous link required some epic hacking that I will never forget :)

Re:throughput vs bandwidth (1)

sribe (304414) | more than 2 years ago | (#40724467)

You could get 8Mbps on the isochronous channel if you were the only isochronous device on the bus, plus, IIRC, 256Kbps on the bulk channel in both directions and a teensy little bit more on the interrupt channel if you were being creative/dangerous. If there were no isochronous devices on the bus, I think you could get something like 8.5Mbps on the bulk channel.

That's what I remember, that at the extreme limit you could get about 70% of the bandwidth actually carrying data. I didn't post specific numbers because my memory about it is much less detailed than yours.

In other words... (0)

gblues (90260) | more than 2 years ago | (#40723211)

FireWire-over-USB?

Re:In other words... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40723241)

No, SCSI over USB. Just like it says. Sheesh.

Re:In other words... (2)

arth1 (260657) | more than 2 years ago | (#40723355)

No, Firewire (Apple's implementation of IEEE1394) would allow two external drives to talk directly to each other without going through the host.

This isn't even like SCSI, as there's no true DMA. It's more akin to NCQ. The benefits are there, if you use it for copying from RAM or SSD to USB. Otherwise, you won't notice much difference.

I'd much prefer ESATA myself, not the least because it can allow AHCI and TRIM, but also because it won't slow down if you use multiple drives simultaneously.

Re:In other words... (3, Informative)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 2 years ago | (#40723563)

esata is just sata with some very very minor phys layer changes. its still sata.

and sata is identical to sas at the phy layer (controllers often can be used for both with diff firmware). ide, as we once knew it, morphed into sata and sata and scsi are now 'friends' in a way.

ahci is the 'real' form of sata. old compatible stuff was just that, running ide over over the sata phy layer.

trim exists whether you run esata or local sata. trim does need ahci (ie, true modern sata) but does not care or know if its internal or external.

just to clear that up a little..

Re:In other words... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40724029)

Nitpick: sas is closer to esata than sata at the phy layer.

Re:In other words... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40724787)

From what I know, the only difference is voltage levels anyway.

Re:In other words... (1)

rrohbeck (944847) | more than 2 years ago | (#40725065)

Yup, and they don't matter because any modern PHY is designed to support both interfaces.

Re:In other words... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40725625)

This isn't even like SCSI, as there's no true DMA.

I'm afraid this is wrong coming and going. Unfortunately it requires a rather longwinded explanation.

1. SCSI does not imply DMA. SCSI is, loosely speaking, two layers. One is a protocol layer consisting of a set of packet-like commands and responses. The other is a physical layer to transport the commands and responses. The protocol layer has no concept of host memory addresses -- it's just commands like "read logical block number 19235". DMA has no meaning there. As for the physical layer, the SCSI specification only covers the physical SCSI bus, not the host controller which interfaces it to the computer. It is entirely possible (and was once common) to design SCSI host controllers which use PIO rather than DMA.

Today, the most common form of SCSI encountered in the real world is the protocol layer, transported across a non-SCSI physical layer. Even the most common "SCSI" physical layer (SAS) is actually a physical layer design borrowed from SATA.

2. Just like SCSI, USB DMA is a function of the host controller design. Unlike SCSI, every version of USB has had standard host controller designs. (USB1: UHCI, OHCI. USB2: EHCI. USB3: XHCI.) All the USB *HCI designs include DMA functionality. So, it's actually very uncommon for USB to not use DMA. (Yes, USB can have high CPU overhead. This doesn't imply there is no DMA going on.)

3. All USB Mass Storage Devices (whether lowly thumb drives or high end HDDs/SSDs) are SCSI, not just the new UASP ones. The USB Mass Storage class is simply a standardized method of using a USB bulk endpoint to transport encapsulated SCSI commands. The chip at the USB device end usually implements a SCSI/ATA translation layer too, since most disks are ATA or SATA.

(That translation layer is why things like TRIM and SMART often don't work over USB -- old USB Mass Storage Devices tend to only translate the basic SCSI commands required to support reading and writing data. There are newer developments which define how to pass SMART through a USB-SCSI-ATA bridge; if you have a more recent USB disk or disk enclosure you may be able to use standard SMART utilities like smartmontools. (I've done this with a SATA disk in a USB2 enclosure.) I wouldn't be surprised if UASP makes this standard and extends it to include TRIM passthrough, but I haven't read up on UASP in detail yet.)

I'd much prefer ESATA myself, not the least because it can allow AHCI and TRIM, but also because it won't slow down if you use multiple drives simultaneously.

Accessing multiple drives simultaneously is a problem for ESATA too. Whenever you use a single SATA or USB channel (through a port expander or hub respectively) to talk to multiple drives, and those drives can deliver more bandwidth than the channel has to offer, you're not going to get maximum performance. And in both cases, the solution is to split the drives across multiple channels.

Re:In other words... (1)

skids (119237) | more than 2 years ago | (#40726315)

Not quite yet. They still have to up the deliverable wattage even more, bring OTG into the high end device range, and switch to a more sensible UTP cabling and line coding to extend the range.

They'll get there... it's the way of the world. Two people invent two things. One thing is thorough, well engineered, but expensive and requires some level of experience to understand -- the other is cheap but braindead-simple and barely functional. The latter wins in the market, and when its shortcomings start garnering attention (e.g. when people who know what they are doing finally try to use it to do something useful) those shortcomings are hacked around in a new standard revision. Eventually we end up with a giant steaming pile of bodgery that mimics the superior standard we already had 10 or 20 years ago but is saddled by loads of legacy compatibility needs. Witness SCSI vs IDE/ATA, ATM vs MPLS/RSVP, SGML vs XML/XHTML just off the top of my head.

Re:In other words... (1)

badkarmadayaccount (1346167) | more than 2 years ago | (#40781555)

ATM sucks.

Does SATA fit into the mix anymore? (3, Interesting)

jabberw0k (62554) | more than 2 years ago | (#40723381)

With UASP sufficient to provide a good disk interface, will new motherboards keep it simple and eliminate the SATA controller and ports? Will new internal hard drives simply have USB connectors?

According to Electronic Design [electronicdesign.com] ,

Using a common command set reduces support and compatibility issues. SATA flash and hard drives support a subset of SCSI, which is why SAS controllers can easily handle SATA and SAS drives. This also makes support of these drives via UASP significantly easier. Likewise, it means standard device drivers for operating systems like Windows and Linux work with all devices.

So, a kernel could have a single SAS driver that supports all SAS, SATA, and USB block devices. This could be a marvelous convergence.

Re:Does SATA fit into the mix anymore? (2)

silas_moeckel (234313) | more than 2 years ago | (#40723471)

Good disk performances at the expense of high CPU use. USB is the winmodem of storage it will never be the preferred method if your want performance. I expect there will be plenty of SATA to USB3 bridge chips available.

Re:Does SATA fit into the mix anymore? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40723885)

Except that at least USB is a defined protocol. Winmodems were not.

Re:Does SATA fit into the mix anymore? (3, Interesting)

Lord_Naikon (1837226) | more than 2 years ago | (#40723497)

So, a kernel could have a single SAS driver that supports all SAS, SATA, and USB block devices. This could be a marvelous convergence.

I know FreeBSD does that, using the CAM (Common Access Method) subsystem. Presumably other OSes do something similar.

Re:Does SATA fit into the mix anymore? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40723857)

With UASP sufficient to provide a good disk interface, will new motherboards keep it simple and eliminate the SATA controller and ports? Will new internal hard drives simply have USB connectors?

SATA3/SAS2: 600MB/s theoretical, ~500MB/s real world.
USB3: 500MB/s theoretical, ~300MB/s real world.
So... no.

Re:Does SATA fit into the mix anymore? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40725435)

the easy part is speaking sata or sas. the hard part is
actually interacting with the hardware.

Re:Does SATA fit into the mix anymore? (1)

lightbounce (2440482) | more than 2 years ago | (#40734971)

SATA ports aren't that expensive to implement, and there is a huge developed base for them. The hardware and protocol was designed from ground up to handle disk drives. SATA won't be going away anytime soon.

1999? (1)

maxbash (1350115) | more than 2 years ago | (#40723461)

Opps, someone didn't do their home work. Sure there were not many USB devices until 98 and 99, but the USB wiki page says 1994. I remember buying my first motherboard with USB in 96.

This is oldish news (1)

7o9 (608315) | more than 2 years ago | (#40723485)

ASUS's version of UASP is not very new. They announced it late 2011 already here: http://event.asus.com/mb/2010/the_best_usb3_experience/The_UASP_For_USB3.0.htm [asus.com] The drivers it requires are from October 2011.

Re:This is oldish news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40723533)

Yes and iirc others have been doing this for a while as well, and even on 2.0 IIRC. /. Scores moldy oldy news yet again now it's really apparent why taco left... To avoid the slow decline of an icon.

USB as RAM? (1)

History's Coming To (1059484) | more than 2 years ago | (#40723495)

With speeds now comparable to DDR memory, what's to stop blank USB sticks being used as a temporary RAM boost?

Re:USB as RAM? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40723519)

Latency and price, dude.

Re:USB as RAM? (1)

k(wi)r(kipedia) (2648849) | more than 2 years ago | (#40723553)

With speeds now comparable to DDR memory, what's to stop blank USB sticks being used as a temporary RAM boost?

As soon as they get (at least) SSD-class wear levelling? Having noticed that my longest lived thumb drives tend to be the ones I don't use that often, I'm assuming that such drives aren't as durable as SSDs when it comes to rewrite operations. An SSD in a USB 3 thumb drive form factor, now that would be something for an ultimate Linux Live Distro.

Re:USB as RAM? (4, Interesting)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 2 years ago | (#40723567)

search for 'vertical usb flash' and you can find internal tiny usb 'thumbdrives' that mount right on the 10pin (iirc) usb mobo header. inside the case. has been that way since about the start of vista days (1gb was somewhat common as a 'cache' you could use).

They call 'em: "Flash Modules" (1)

Artemis3 (85734) | more than 2 years ago | (#40725979)

Quite interesting, all sorts of inside ports can be used to plug flash memory:
http://www.supertalent.com/products/ssd_category_detail.php?type=FDM [supertalent.com]

The little ones to plug into usb3 ports are 32g already... I'm often finding myself with unused usb connectors on the motherboard these days. There is also sata and pata.

Re:USB as RAM? (0)

Jeremy Erwin (2054) | more than 2 years ago | (#40723593)

The most primitive DDR memory (PC-1600, 1.6 GB/s) is more than twice as fast as USB 3.0 (625 GB/s). USB 3.0 is closest to PC-66 (533 GB/s).

Re:USB as RAM? (1)

Fjandr (66656) | more than 2 years ago | (#40726181)

I think you meant MB/s for the last two. :)

Re:USB as RAM? (1)

Tough Love (215404) | more than 2 years ago | (#40726409)

With speeds now comparable to DDR memory, what's to stop blank USB sticks being used as a temporary RAM boost?

Lots. Starting with, what happens when you pull the stick out while it has random parts of your system memory on it?

Re:USB as RAM? (1)

History's Coming To (1059484) | more than 2 years ago | (#40729289)

Bad things, agreed. That's why you'd need some sort of eject button to switch it to HD swap space before you pull it out. Not an insurmountable problem.

Re:USB as RAM? (1)

amorsen (7485) | more than 2 years ago | (#40730671)

USB sticks generally have horrible controllers which once in a while take a meditative break for a second or 5. If you are the type who enjoys occasional time-outs from your work, you will love it. However, you get about the same effect from not upgrading your RAM in the first place.

There are quality USB sticks with decent controllers, of course, and with proper OS support they apparently work quite well, but they're generally expensive.

Great for audio (3, Interesting)

dontmakemethink (1186169) | more than 2 years ago | (#40723527)

This finally resolves the biggest problem for USB interfaces and hard drives for audio. The primary factor for performance in audio has always been access speed (seek time), and not throughput. Audio software has to access dozens of separate audio files in a very timely manner frequently, and the overhead of the USB protocol has always been a wrench in the gears. From what I'm reading, UASP offers the same advantages NCQ (Native Command Queuing) offers in SATA, which allowed for much higher track counts on the same drive rather than spreading files across several drives, which was a pain in the butt. It was only with NCQ in ~2005 that SATA finally caught up with SCSI-2 (ca 1994) in audio performance, provided the drive was 7200rpm or faster. Firewire has some form of queuing system built into the host, so it's always been better than USB for audio, but it is vanishing from laptops and desktop motherboards, even Apple products.

Now watch how long it takes before audio hardware manufacturers adopt it, and feel our pain. The first Firewire audio interfaces came out about 4 years after Firewire was standard on Mac desktops...

Re:Great for audio (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 2 years ago | (#40723661)

I'm not an expert at this but I thought the main problem with USB audio was not speed but that USB host controller was the CPU whereas other technologies like FireWire have their own host controllers (This also made them more expensive). As such the protocol is interruptible. For peripherals like mice and keyboards a few microseconds of delay don't matter. Moving files isn't a problem unless it's timing sensitive. Audio on the other hand is very timing sensitive. USB3 didn't really solve the problem; they just made it faster so that any delays can be offset by buffers.

Re:Great for audio (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40726033)

I'm not an expert at this but I thought the main problem with USB audio was not speed but that USB host controller was the CPU whereas other technologies like FireWire have their own host controllers (This also made them more expensive).

USB has host controllers. Always has.

As such the protocol is interruptible.

It's not clear what you mean by "interruptible". You can't, for example, interrupt a Firewire packet partway through.

Moving files isn't a problem unless it's timing sensitive. Audio on the other hand is very timing sensitive. USB3 didn't really solve the problem; they just made it faster so that any delays can be offset by buffers.

The GP was actually talking about time-sensitive file access, not transferring audio data to a DAC or from an ADC. Audio editing and mixing programs often read audio samples from many files on a disk and combine them down to a single stream for output to a DAC. USB doesn't really have trouble with the DAC for simple cases (see below), it's random file access which gives it problems. Traditionally USB has completely lacked support for command queueing and overlap, which makes it very slow for random access. UASP fixes that.

As for DACs, both Firewire and USB support isochronous transfers for low latency DAC/ADC/video device communications. This means the bus uses fixed timeslots inside a periodic "frame" to transmit a chunk of data from each stream in turn. Since both USB2 and Firewire support a 0.125ms (8kHz) frame period, the amount of buffering required is actually identical. However, in practice Firewire is much better at handling large numbers of isochronous streams, especially when mixed with non-isoc traffic. There isn't much difference for a single device or stream, but in a professional context you'd want Firewire.

Re:Great for audio (1)

Fjandr (66656) | more than 2 years ago | (#40726233)

USB has host controllers. Always has.

Just wanted to point out that the statement wasn't that USB don't (or didn't) have host controllers, so this is irrelevant as a response.

Re:Great for audio (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 2 years ago | (#40727927)

The problem with the CPU being the host controller is that other processing by the CPU may delay the USB. This is never had anything to do with DAC or ADC. If you are sending or receiving audio through USB, delays of microseconds can cause stuttering without adequate If you happen to be transferring other data at the same time. USB3 did not solve this problem. It just increased the bandwidth.

Re:Great for audio (1)

amorsen (7485) | more than 2 years ago | (#40730691)

USB3 did not solve this problem. It just increased the bandwidth.

The standard USB3 controller interface supports DMA. It is actually a relatively decent interface, unlike the horrors of its predecessors.

Re:Great for audio (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40731415)

Ditto for running programs from Flash Drive. Trying to run LiberOffice on USB2 from a 16GB Flash drive is painful.

SCSI over USB?! (4, Funny)

Dasher42 (514179) | more than 2 years ago | (#40723531)

Just when I'm really, really tired of the acronyms, there's SCSI over USB. What's next, orange juice out of apples? Kia to Tesla conversion kits? Vegan outback steakhouses? Elegant Perl code?!

Re:SCSI over USB?! (1)

Jeremy Erwin (2054) | more than 2 years ago | (#40724451)

Layer cakes are next.

Re:SCSI over USB?! (2)

red_dragon (1761) | more than 2 years ago | (#40726879)

The seven-layer cake is a lie.

Re:SCSI over USB?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40726059)

Just when I'm really, really tired of the acronyms, there's SCSI over USB. What's next, orange juice out of apples?

Er, hate to break it to you since the concept seems to disturb you but every single USB thumb drive in the world? Already SCSI over USB. This new thing (USB Attached SCSI Protocol) is just a shinier better higher performance way of doing it than the old way.

Re:SCSI over USB?! (1)

Fjandr (66656) | more than 2 years ago | (#40726413)

Dogs and cats living together?!

Nah.. (1)

ub3r n3u7r4l1st (1388939) | more than 2 years ago | (#40723623)

Thunderbolt will chew them all.

Re:Nah.. (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 2 years ago | (#40723777)

I was wondering how this would fit in with Thunderbolt. It seems that a Thunderbolt port which had 2 channels with 10 Gb/s each easily surpasses this.

21st century? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40725127)

SCSI was on the first Mac Plus in the mid 1980's. Bringing the protocol to USB3 because it can support a transfer speed from 1984 is commendable, but bringing it up to the 21st century it is not.

JJ

Re:21st century? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40726133)

I hope you're trolling, because that was a really ignorant comment. This isn't about bringing 1980s era 8-bit parallel SCSI to USB in any way, shape, or form. It's about a better method of using USB3 as a transport layer for modern versions of SCSI. (I say "better method" because existing USB disks already work by transporting SCSI commands over USB. UASP is a higher performance version of the same concept.)

USB slow compared to Thunderbolt (1)

SplashMyBandit (1543257) | more than 2 years ago | (#40725971)

Note that Thunderbolt (which Macs have and are possible to get on PCs - I have one an an ASUS motherboard I purchased recently) has a peak speed of 10 Gb/s compared to the 4.8 Gb/s of USB 3.0. Either way, Intel wins (it is backing both horses here).

Gigabyte was first (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40727827)

http://www.bit-tech.net/news/industry/2010/08/17/gigabyte-first-to-support-uasp-usb-attache/1

Why not Superspeed for SSD, hi-speed for HDD? (1)

unixisc (2429386) | more than 2 years ago | (#40729037)

USB3 includes superspeed in addition to everything that USB1 and USB2 had - low speed (for keyboards and mice), full speed (for printers, scanners and so on), high speed (for HDDs and camcorders) and now superspeed. The way USB3 is being thought of is like it can only support superspeed, which is not the case at all. 3 just implies the current revision of the standard, nothing more, nothing less. An USB keyboard which one buys will be USB3 - just a low speed one.

Why not use the 4.8Gb/s for just SSDs, where all the parts are solid state and capable of these speeds, and not use that for HDDs, instead of creating a new HDD standard that's either going to be incompatible w/ the current PATA or SATA drives, or too expensive due to the embedding of SCSI protocols? The whole idea of USB is to support devices of varying speeds on its bus, and that can be as slow as USB keyboards and mice, and go right up to camcorders or SSDs. Let every device participate on the bus @ speeds it is comfortable - be it low-speed, full-speed, hi-speed or superspeed (personally, I hate the use of the adjective 'super' to describe anything, due to the implication that there's nothing beyond).

Large Flash Drive Performance (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40731407)

Hopefully this fixes running apps from USB, like LibreOffice, on large flash drives (> 4GB).

It doesn't make a big difference for HDDs (1)

lightbounce (2440482) | more than 2 years ago | (#40735001)

If you look at the hothardware benchmarks, they found very small improvements for high-performance HDDs, and only on large transfers. Contrary to what MojoKid wrote, even USB 2.0 was good enough for the usage patterns of most hard drives. While the USB 2.0 transfer speed couldn't handle the outer zones of the fastest hard drives, it could handle their inner zones and slower hard drives. When you factor in that most disk commands have sizable delays due to seek and rotational delays that the new USB Attached SCSI Protocol can't do anything about (command queuing and seek optimization are generally overrated), there just isn't just isn't a lot to be gained using this new protocol with hard drives. It does make a big difference with SSDs, though.
Check for New Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?