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USB 3.0's New Jacks and Sockets

timothy posted more than 6 years ago | from the orificial-intelligence dept.

Upgrades 390

The Register has a brief look posted (with photos and diagrams) of "USB 3.0, the upcoming version of the universal add-on standard re-engineered for the HD era, made a small appearance at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES)." The posting explains that USB 3.0 "wasn't demonstrated in operation, but we did get to see what the new connectors look like." How does it handle backward compatibility? The extra pins needed for USB 3.0 "are placed behind the USB 1.1/2.0 ones. USB 3.0 connectors and receptacles will be deeper than the current ones."

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390 comments

Is it burst speed? (5, Interesting)

danomac (1032160) | more than 6 years ago | (#21976072)

I wonder about the new speed specification... in my experience even with no other devices on the USB bus getting 480mbit was impossible. I always had to resort to firewire for my drive caddy because I got consistent results with it.

I sure hope they've addressed this issue. The OS caching helped, unless you wanted to unplug the damn thing right away - then you had to wait 5 minutes for the cache to flush out.

Re:Is it burst speed? (5, Informative)

gillbates (106458) | more than 6 years ago | (#21976508)

Yes, and no.

You see, 480 Mbs is the electrical interface speed. As in, 480 Million bits go across the wire every second. Not all of those bits are used for traffic.

However, some of those bits are used by the overhead of the transfer protocol. You've got USB packets in the stream which do nothing but reserve space for some psuedo-realtime device which might be connected to the bus at any second. Whether or not the OS/USB Controller allocates these blank packets even in cases where they aren't needed is a matter of programming.

As an aside, I've noticed that on the same computer, with the same flash drive, Linux does a much faster job with file transfers than Windows. I suspect Windows is just under-utilizing the bus, to make it easier for their engineers. But I could be wrong, as I haven't looked into it in detail.

Re:Is it burst speed? (5, Informative)

jubei (89485) | more than 6 years ago | (#21977188)

Your windows file copy slowness could be because Windows does not use write caching for removable drives. This allows clueless users to just yank out the disk without unmounting properly. If you are getting slow reads, that is a different story.

Oh it'll go at full capacity (4, Funny)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 6 years ago | (#21976636)

You'll just need to dedicate six of your eight cores in the 3GHz Intel chip for the process overhead.

Why not 10GigE? (1)

nokiator (781573) | more than 6 years ago | (#21976648)

Now that 10GigE runs over cheap copper cables (not the yet expensive and power hungry 10GBase-T but cheap and already widely available 10G serial over twin-axial cable), why not run all the PC peripherals on 10GigE interfaces instead of adding more kludges to the already overburdened USB standard? If the motherboard has an 10G Ethernet hub, peripherals that do not need so much bandwidth can easily auto negotiate down to 1Gb/s or 100Mb/s...

Yes, backward compatibility would be a problem, but I am sure computer and electronic manufacturers won't be disappointed by a mass upgrade cycle driven by a new (and higher performance) peripheral interconnect standard.

With you on the break-from-the-past (1)

Besna (1175279) | more than 6 years ago | (#21977048)

Ethernet has a much different usage scenario, though. USB could break from the past to all-optical, or even multi-lane. Too many kludges around, but I don't see ethernet and USB coming from the same port.

Re:Is it burst speed? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21976728)

> you had to wait 5 minutes for the cache to flush out

see sync(1).

Re:Is it burst speed? (1)

danomac (1032160) | more than 6 years ago | (#21977328)

see sync(1).

sync forces the cache to disk, I know. The problem: *writing* to the disk takes 5 minutes. Constant disk activity for 5 minutes. The command doesn't help there at all.

isochronous transfer... (1)

jddj (1085169) | more than 6 years ago | (#21976830)

Firewire has a method of reserving bandwidth on the line for isochronous transfers - i.e. when data MUST arrive on-time to make the application work, things like video frames for editing.

Bus speed alone won't do everything we'd like USB to do...

shades of future past (4, Insightful)

pilgrim23 (716938) | more than 6 years ago | (#21976110)

-Little fingers inside existing fingers to work with legacy USB devices... Does anyone rememeber the EISA slot standard designed to allow inserting a ISA card?
Now all we need is a MCA driver and we are in busienss for the new world of 1992.

Re:shades of future past (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21976638)

As far as I recall EISA just extended the physical length of the interface. It didn't use contacts within contacts.

MCA was a completely different bus interface and had nothing to do with ISA or EISA.

Re:shades of future past (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21977172)

You don't have to go that far back. DVDs and CDs.

Will it work on Linux? (4, Interesting)

Marcion (876801) | more than 6 years ago | (#21976132)

Is the software side of USB an open specification or some members only, pass the royalty thing that the open source world will have to take the next ten years reverse engineering?

Re:Will it work on Linux? (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 6 years ago | (#21977346)

Is the software side of USB an open specification or some members only, pass the royalty thing that the open source world will have to take the next ten years reverse engineering?
I figure it'll be like the current USB support - reading and writing from USB as such work, but the userland drivers needed to actually make any device work will be equally lacking as today. That said, things are improving so if ATI keeps up their promises and selective purchase of hardware, you can hopefully have a gizmofied high-end PC with only open source drivers. With commercial Linux offerings, you can bet Linux drivers is now on the checklist with many bigshot manufacturers. That's got to count for something.

Other Fixes (4, Insightful)

MBCook (132727) | more than 6 years ago | (#21976134)

Oooh. It's faster. Wow. Didn't see that happening.

Did they fix the CPU overhead? Did they make a P2P version so that I don't need a computer to connect a camera to a hard drive and have it work? Basically, did they do anything to improve it for high-bandwidth applications (which is obviously what they're targeting) compared to FireWire?

The cable worries me some. I understand the drive for backwards compatibility, but it seems like they should make the cable more obviously different. It just looks like it will be too easy to accidentally use a USB 2 cable, not realize it, and then wonder why the device is running so slow. Just a little nub on the bottom of the connector would do it.

Re:Other Fixes (1)

Marcion (876801) | more than 6 years ago | (#21976190)

Did they make a P2P version so that I don't need a computer to connect a camera to a hard drive and have it work?

Well as you know the Firewire had this feature in like 1990. I also agree it is very important to free USB from the PC. I also hate it when embedded devices only have unpowered USB so you have to always drag the device back to the PC.

Re:Other Fixes (3, Informative)

Svet-Am (413146) | more than 6 years ago | (#21976330)

Did they make a P2P version so that I don't need a computer to connect a camera to a hard drive and have it work?

Yes, they did. Several years ago, in fact. It's called USB On the Go [usb.org]

And it doesn't work (5, Interesting)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 6 years ago | (#21976600)

I bought a USB OTG external hard drive that is supposed to be able to copy files off a slave device, and a box that is supposed to support two master devices and initiate copies between them - neither work at all with any USB storage I have tried.

USB OTG is a farce.

Re:And it doesn't work (2, Informative)

Xamindar (533756) | more than 6 years ago | (#21976838)

Did you remember to use the proper cable to switch it to host? Might want to look into that. USB on the go works great on my Sharp Zaurus 3100. I can plug it into a computer with the regular cable and it becomes an external hard drive. Or I can use the host cable (in the same port) and turn it into the host and connect any usb device I can find a driver for to it (flash drives, mice, keyboard, bluetooth). It is very usefull.

Re:Other Fixes (2, Informative)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 6 years ago | (#21976876)

Did they make a P2P version so that I don't need a computer to connect a camera to a hard drive and have it work?


Yes, they did. Several years ago, in fact. It's called USB On the Go


Actually, it's not strictly P2P using USB OTG. One device is still the host, the other the client. It's just there's a complex protocol they can go through (Host Negotiation Protocol) to switch roles if necessary. Of course, both sides have to support OTG.

Also, there aren't many devices out there that are actually OTG complaint. Most just have an USB host port. Or an illegal USB Mini-AB connector (reserved for OTG-logo'd devices), but they don't support OTG.

Just goes to show... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21976146)

... that longer male connectors are better.

Re:Just goes to show... (5, Funny)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 6 years ago | (#21976384)

longer male connectors are better.

Nooo it's not how long they are but what they do. Besides if female connectors like long male connectors bigger that's because they themselves are *too* deep. A short male connector fits a "shallow" female connector as nicely as a long male connector fits a deep female connector.

So girls, quit complaining and laughing and get it worked out! Oh wait, oops..

Re:Just goes to show... (1)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 6 years ago | (#21976500)

if female connectors like long male connectors bigger

Err crap, I'm afraid I meant better. Quite a slip of the tongue indeed.. :-S

Your mom (-1, Troll)

KillerCow (213458) | more than 6 years ago | (#21976178)

connectors and receptacles will be deeper than the current ones.


Your mom's receptacle is deeper than the current ones.

Re:Your mom (1)

lena_10326 (1100441) | more than 6 years ago | (#21976954)

Your mom's receptacle is deeper than the current ones.
Sucks for you don't it? Heh heh, as you need a larger connector for deeper receptacles.

Then what's the point of SATAII? (4, Interesting)

Kickboy12 (913888) | more than 6 years ago | (#21976226)

Funny how I just upgraded to a new computer that uses SATA 3.0Gb/s. If USB3 is faster than SATAII, then why not just use that for drives? Not that anyone ever really maxes out SATAII to begin with. So it's all kind of useless in the end.

Re:Then what's the point of SATAII? (3, Informative)

Midnight Thunder (17205) | more than 6 years ago | (#21976366)

Funny how I just upgraded to a new computer that uses SATA 3.0Gb/s. If USB3 is faster than SATAII, then why not just use that for drives? Not that anyone ever really maxes out SATAII to begin with. So it's all kind of useless in the end.

The problem with SATA, IMHO, is that makes a shoddy external connector. There is no notion of hubs or even daisy-chaining. USB and Firewire both support hubs, whereas Firewire supports daisy-chaining. With SATA you need as many external SATA sockets on your computer as you have external SATA drives. If your main computer is a portable, then this is a poor solution.

Re:Then what's the point of SATAII? (1)

crabpeople (720852) | more than 6 years ago | (#21976966)

"With SATA you need as many external SATA sockets on your computer as you have external SATA drives"
When I was looking into building a san like device I did some research on this. If you google "Port Multiplier SATA", you will find plenty of different options.

Re:Then what's the point of SATAII? (1)

Compholio (770966) | more than 6 years ago | (#21976418)

If USB3 is faster than SATAII, then why not just use that for drives? Not that anyone ever really maxes out SATAII to begin with. So it's all kind of useless in the end.
Significant (unnecessary) computational overhead.

The point of difference busses (2, Insightful)

l2718 (514756) | more than 6 years ago | (#21976426)

Because there's more to a bus than the bandwidth. USB has a lot of overhead (it can be branched, hook many devices etc). SATA is dedicated for controlling storage. That's why we put cameras on the USB, hard-drives on a SATA bus, the network card on the PCI bus, video card on the VESA bus ...

Re:The point of difference busses (1)

sconeu (64226) | more than 6 years ago | (#21976930)

video card on the VESA bus ...

1993 called. They want their bus back.

Video goes on either AGP bus (for older systems) or the PCI-E bus.

Re:Then what's the point of SATAII? (1)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 6 years ago | (#21976434)

I'm fairly confident SATA is easier on the CPU than USB. Besides as I heard (in some previous comment), USB isn't too good at high speed continuous transfers, more at bursting.

Re:Then what's the point of SATAII? (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 6 years ago | (#21976950)

it's up to the sata chipset some put more load on the cpu.

Also there are high end SAS / SATA RAID cards with there own ram and cpus.

Re:Then what's the point of SATAII? (1)

dmsuperman (1033704) | more than 6 years ago | (#21976480)

Well USB 2.0 is faster than IDE. I'm honestly not sure, I thought about this before but I'm sure it makes sense. I figured why not make hard drives use USB as well. I was thinking that USB should be use for all sorts of connections, basically everything in the computer but the LAN.

Why USB 3.0 when there's IEEE 1394 b/S3200 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21976254)

Why go to all this trouble to make USB faster when IEEE 1394b/S3200 already seems to fit the bill so well? Might someone educate me?

Re:Why USB 3.0 when there's IEEE 1394 b/S3200 (1)

amliebsch (724858) | more than 6 years ago | (#21976406)

Because USB will probably still be cheaper to license and implement.

Naming (5, Funny)

teslatug (543527) | more than 6 years ago | (#21976322)

So they're going with a 3.0 instead of some crazy More Full Speed (TM) name this time?

Probably not (2, Informative)

XanC (644172) | more than 6 years ago | (#21976446)

They'll come up with that later. USB 1 had two data rates: "low speed", 1.5Mbits/s, and "full speed", 12Mbits/s. USB 2.0 added "high speed" at 480Mbits/s. No idea what superlative they'll reach for this time.

Re:Probably not (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21977146)

Ludicrous Speed, of course.

Re:Naming (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21976592)

you must have missed this: "SuperSpeed USB"

-kevin

Re:Naming (5, Informative)

Brobock (226116) | more than 6 years ago | (#21976596)

So they're going with a 3.0 instead of some crazy More Full Speed (TM) name this time?

FTA:
Dubbed SuperSpeed USB, the third major incarnation of the serial bus standard is set to deliver data transfer speeds of around 4.7Gb/s - ten times today's 480Mb/s limit.

They haven't TM'd it yet though.

Re:Naming (1)

172pilot (913197) | more than 6 years ago | (#21977060)

Maybe they should just call it "Full High Speed" to add to the confusion, and imply that perhaps with this version you may get the "full" advertised speed.. ;-)

SuperSpeed USB (1)

mick129 (126225) | more than 6 years ago | (#21976670)

FTFA:

Dubbed SuperSpeed USB, the third major incarnation of the serial bus standard is set to deliver data transfer speeds of around 4.7Gb/s - ten times today's 480Mb/s limit.

its like DB9 all over again... (3, Interesting)

johnrpenner (40054) | more than 6 years ago | (#21976356)


the more things change, the more they stay the same -- now
they're back to using 9 pins to implement the spec -- other than
making the connectors physically different so people don't end up
plugging in old RS-422 cables into it -- from the number of actual
pins needed to implement a spec -- we're physically back to using
9 pins that were available in the DB9 form factor, only this connector
is considerably more difficult to manufacture. :-^

Re:its like DB9 all over again... (1)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | more than 6 years ago | (#21976430)

No doubt. Then there should be like a usb3.5 that has 25 pins, for connecting an external DSL / Cable Modem and cool 9 pin to 25 pin adapters lying around everywhere.

You can't insert a quote in a sentence like that (1)

edittard (805475) | more than 6 years ago | (#21976370)

of "USB 3.0, the upcoming version of the universal add-on standard re-engineered for the HD era, made a small appearance at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES)."
Nope.

[...] of USB 3.0, the upcoming version of the universal add-on standard re-engineered for the HD era, which made a small appearance at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES)...

or maybe

[...] of USB 3.0. The upcoming version of the universal add-on standard re-engineered for the HD era, made a small appearance at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES)...

Or, if the part in quotes really is the title of the other article (shame on whoever wrote it), then refer to it as such:

In the article titled "USB 3.0, the upcoming version of the universal add-on standard re-engineered for the HD era, made a small appearance at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES)," someone said ...

Still using rectangular connectors, I see. (5, Funny)

croddy (659025) | more than 6 years ago | (#21976458)

p>Whatever they come up with, in the end, I have only one wish for the USB3 hardware developers: that they be made to plug 1000 of them in upside down in the dark.

A serious question (5, Interesting)

moosesocks (264553) | more than 6 years ago | (#21976468)

What happened to firewire? All signs point to it going extinct in the very near future....

Wasn't it vastly superior to USB? It had a higher maximum throughput that could almost be realistically achieved, delivered useful amounts of power over the bus, and allowed devices to talk to each other. The audio/video features are pretty nice as well....

Both firewire and usb were well-supported on all platforms, so *that*'s not the issue. It's also robust, to the point of being found in many modern aircraft designs and the space shuttle.

IEEE1394c is even cooler, and uses CAT5e/RJ45 for wiring, allowing for automatic negotiation between other 1394 devices, and normal ethernet devices. Max speed is 800mbps, and it very nicely bridges the gap between "traditional" peripherals, and network-attached devices.

So what happened? Did I miss something? Who killed Firewire?

Re:A serious question (4, Interesting)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 6 years ago | (#21976776)

Going extinct? huh?? I dont see any pro cameras ditching firewire for usb.

I see sata taking over for external hard drives. I converted all my firewire 800 external drives on my powermac tower to SATA 3 drives last year and gained a crapload of performance at 1/3rd the price. but every HD camcorder that is more than a toy for the masses has firewire on it and will be there forever. Even the hard drive based cameras from panasonic that cost more than most guys' houses still have firewire on them.

Problem is SATA has a failure point. I can have 20 foot firewire cables.. good luck making sata work over 3 feet.

Re:A serious question (1)

rhizome (115711) | more than 6 years ago | (#21976922)

I see sata taking over for external hard drives.

If you're talking about eSATA, I wouldn't be posting that prediction in this thread. It's got a long way to go.

good luck making sata work over 3 feet.

The eSATA spec is 2m max cable length.

Re:A serious question (1)

Dan East (318230) | more than 6 years ago | (#21976786)

What happened to firewire? All signs point to it going extinct in the very near future....

Really? The last several computers I've purchased all had integrated Firewire ports. We're purchasing a couple new digital video cameras (at a few thousand dollars each), and it is Firewire all the way. I think Firewire is doing just fine in the arena it was designed for. To me USB is a bloated mess (ever try to do any low-level USB programming? It's a joke!) that ended up pretty much being mediocre all around.

Dan East

Re:A serious question (5, Informative)

appleguru (1030562) | more than 6 years ago | (#21976788)

Nobody... The problem with firewire is its cost-- USB is, on the device side, dirt cheap to implement. This comes at the cost of needing a host controller (your computer) to do anything and that comes with CPU use overhead. Firewire requires these 'controllers' in every device, making it far more useful (allowing things such as communication without a computer!), robust, and fast without the overhead. But it costs more! And, as we know, price is what drives the marketplace. As a 'normal' uniformed consumer, would you buy a firewire 400 widget for $100 if the usb version cost $50 and both "did the same thing" and ran at a theoretical "480 mbps" (And we all (by all, I mean us on slashdot) know how well usb2 does that...). As a 'normal' consumer, of course not!

Firewire is far from dead, however... Nearly all consumer/prosumer mini dv cameras use it (including hdv cameras), many set top boxes and HDTVs have 1394 links on them for connecting devices (DVHS decks, HDTVs, and cable boxes... this transport MPEG-2 transport streams), and every mac since the iMac debuted has shipped with firewire ports on it (Many, many external hard drives have firewire ports on them.. the good ones anyways ;))... Sony has been shipping 1394 on its vaio computers for ages (in the form of i.link), and all modern computer manufactures have followed suit.

So, to answer your question, consumers "killed" firewire by being... well... price conscious consumers. But in reality it's not going anywhere, and with any luck and all the cool networking capabilities the firewire spec has these days it will eventually catch on with the majority of consumers as a convenient way to interconnect devices and stick around for good.

Re:A serious question (2, Informative)

bgeerdes (59912) | more than 6 years ago | (#21977046)

every mac since the iMac debuted has shipped with firewire ports on it

Wrong. The original iMacs just had 2 USB ports. Firewire didn't appear until the iMac DV/SE.

Re:A serious question (1)

jubei (89485) | more than 6 years ago | (#21977280)

Nearly all laptops come with a mini-firewire port. I believe this is an unpowered port, so it is only really good for things like disk drives that you don't mind plugging into a wall or camcorders with their own batteries.

The popularity of the unpowered plug makes firewire infeasible for things like webcams, mice, keyboards, thumbdrives, game controllers, and for most other things we currently use USB. So, one could venture to say that firewire is dead for certain classes of devices.

Re:A serious question (2)

Pecisk (688001) | more than 6 years ago | (#21976816)

No one. Simply Firewire is in pro market, so it gets less attention of mainstream press. Still, FW rules over Apple world (Hard disks, scanners, cameras), and is taking serious inroads on Windows and Linux platforms. Still, USB3 can deliver some blow to posibility that Firewire will come into casual computer user.

Many say that USB consorium is more organised and actually delivers. While Firewire has been promising, it's market has been difficulty to deliver actual results. And also there is simple reason why USB is popular, because there USB is supported EVERYWHERE. Firewire don't have such marketshare.

Re:A serious question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21976818)

Apple killed firewire when Jobs decided to increase royalties, naturally, the hardware makes switched over to USB, and normal people never heard about it, but instead got riddled with USB gadgets. Firewire might be superior to USB in almost every one, but its just so expensive the hardware makers have decided on USB, and blame any lack of promised performance on your computer (which is true, technically).

Re: A serious question (1)

Conley Index (957833) | more than 6 years ago | (#21976884)

> What happened to firewire? All signs point to it going extinct in the very near future....

Since for everyone else it is IEEE 1394, which simply does not sound very sexy, I have an idea who is in the position to let FireWire die. Anyhow, I will refrain from naming it here, since it would be all too unpopular...

Re:A serious question (1)

Aluvus (691449) | more than 6 years ago | (#21976886)

The answer to your question lies in the false assumption that IEEE 1394 was "well-supported on all platforms". Apple adopted it enthusiastically, but others did not. That is what killed it, in a nutshell.

There are a few reasons for this. Apple initially wanted royalties for Firewire devices, which of course made them more expensive and less attractive to make. For peripheral makers, this was on top of the higher cost of implementation vs. USB on pure hardware costs. USB is dead simple and dead cheap to implement; take any serial (RS-232) device, slap an interpreter chip on it (less than $1 these days) and you're done. This is obviously not a high-performance solution, but if you have an existing device (mouse etc.) it is cheap and gets you to market quickly.

IEEE 1394 is technologically a very good standard (or set of standards, now), and has always been more advanced than USB. But USB has always been cheaper and easier, and "good enough" for most applications. And those things turn out to matter a great deal more in the marketplace.

Re:A serious question (1)

rho (6063) | more than 6 years ago | (#21976962)

Firewire chips are more expensive.

Apple used to charge a licensing fee for Firewire. It wasn't much, a buck or two, but that annoys people. Dunno if they still do.

USB is really useful for keyboards and mice, very convenient for little flash drives that don't need the full meal deal of Firewire. Ubiquity made USB more popular. Firewire is still popular on higher-end machines, and still cheap to add via expansion slots.

Re:A serious question (1)

alx5000 (896642) | more than 6 years ago | (#21976970)

I used you first in my laptop in '92
Getting my new cd-recorder plugged through you
If I was young, it didn't stop you coming through

Aww, awwa...

They started making peripherals for USB
with much more simple and slower technology
and now I understand the problems you can see

Aww, awwa...

USB killed the firewire stack
USB killed the firewire stack
For my Win and in my Mac
I can't find any peripheral

Aww, awww awww awww awwww...

Re:A serious question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21977092)

Who killed Firewire?

Intel, by including USB 2.0 on their motherboards.

Re:A serious question (1)

jas203 (942742) | more than 6 years ago | (#21977132)

Firewire (or IEEE 1394) is a more expensive protocol to implement due to the p2p nature of it. IEEE 1394 devices have to be able to determine how to talk/respond to other devices all sharing the same bus. USB has a single host driving everything, as such devices can be a lot more "dumb". The result is that it is much cheaper to implement USB devices (such as flash disks) than it is with IEEE 1394.

With Microsoft throwing it's weight behind USB too, Firewire has all but disappeared. It's a shame really as IEEE 1394 is a much nicer interface - USB is very clunky, especially the "real world" USB implementations.

Firewire = Betamax version (1)

symbolset (646467) | more than 6 years ago | (#21977204)

Stupid blackberry. Click the betamax theory link in my comment history for an explanation.

USB's biggest shortcoming - cable length (1)

pyite69 (463042) | more than 6 years ago | (#21976488)

Will the new spec allow for super long USB cables?

Ideally, I would like to have long DVI and long USB cables, then I could put my computer in the other room altogether. The noise improvement would be HUGE.

I hate USB connectors (1)

Epistax (544591) | more than 6 years ago | (#21976540)

I break them easily. When reaching behind a computer it's damn near impossible to tell which way they go in. Sometimes, they DO go in the wrong way. This usually ends up breaking the port, not the cord, which is probably a lot worse.

Maybe I suck at USB cables, but it's the only kind of cable I have to double check for fear of destroying hardware. Cases are never on properly so it's not like it just slides in easily the right way either.

Re:I hate USB connectors (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21977000)

Put a bit hair around it, then you'll get it in first time...

One suggestion (4, Insightful)

edwardpickman (965122) | more than 6 years ago | (#21976542)

Can they start color coding USB cable types? Some of us old timers have been around since 1.0 was popular. I've got a box full and it's always fun trying to find the 2.0 cable hiding among the 1.0 cables.I hate to toss them but I really haven't any use for 1.0 cables. I'd just love to see some kind of coding system since they all use the same connectors. At least with hard drives every time they change them we get new connectors. It may make them backwardly compatible but it does cause confusion.

Re:One suggestion (1)

Zaffle (13798) | more than 6 years ago | (#21976780)

I've got a box full and it's always fun trying to find the 2.0 cable hiding among the 1.0 cables

Here's a tip..... USB 1 CABLES - THROW THEM OUT. Serious. Under what possible circumstance could you ever say, "oh bugger, I need a USB cable, and all I have is these stupid 2.0 cables?" (ok, ok, the exception is when you need a USB3.0 cable).

Repeat after me; throw out old cables.

Re:One suggestion (4, Informative)

Teilo (91279) | more than 6 years ago | (#21976832)

Umm, you do realize that USB 1.0 and 2.0 use the exact same cables and connectors [usb.org], don't you?

Just asking, because you sound too serious to be joking.

Validation (1)

Besna (1175279) | more than 6 years ago | (#21977134)

Tolerances will be an issue. I vaguely remember hearing about some problems using an older cable. I could even imagine the factories binning out to USB 1 cables that didn't pan out.

Re:One suggestion (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21977308)

Typically USB 2.0 requires shielded cables I think. This drove me nuts one day.

Re:One suggestion (5, Funny)

ffflala (793437) | more than 6 years ago | (#21977352)

That's not true! USB 2.0 requires gold-plated contacts for maximum bus fidelity. Monster makes a good USB 2.0 cable, and it goes for a steal at $79.99 per cable.

If you put the 2.0 cables in the freezer to align the molecules before you use them you get even better bus response. All of my devices have this warmer, more human feel when I'm using properly-designed cables.

They (1)

Kamineko (851857) | more than 6 years ago | (#21976560)

They'd better come up with some very distinct symbol for this, else my USB 3 cables are all going to be mixed up with my other USB cables.

Still half vertically symmetric (5, Insightful)

Trogre (513942) | more than 6 years ago | (#21976568)

Aargh, this connector is *still* symmetrical vertically in form factor but not electrically. Which means you'll have people fumbling behind computers/laptops turning the connectors upside-down until the cable is twisted trying to plug in their camera/mouse/hdd/coffee maker.

Either change the shape of the connector (something like RJ11 would be fine) or make the pins such that it can be inserted right-way up or upside down (figure-eight power cable connectors for example).

Re:Still half vertically symmetric (3, Insightful)

MattHawk (215818) | more than 6 years ago | (#21977010)

One good example is the Apple Macbook power connectors. They're palindromic, so even though they're a plain rectangle, they plug in either way (and have a power LED on both top and bottom to accommodate such). They need either that, or a nub to indicate alignment - I HATE fumbling around with USB cables to get them plugged in.

Of course, this would require abandoning backwards compatibility... but seriously, by the time that there are only USB3 ports on a device, I'm pretty sure we'll be past needing to plug 2.0 devices into it, and if we need to use an old device that badly, it would be easy enough to make them electrically compatible such that a simple dumb cable adapter can fit it. Old device standards are passed by for new ones all the time, and clinging to backwards compatibility at the costs of advancement can be a serious mistake - clinging to backwards compatibility at all costs is a significant amount of what's hampering Windows right now, for example.

more pins: yuck (2, Funny)

nguy (1207026) | more than 6 years ago | (#21976578)

This seems like a step backwards. Four pins and shielding was a good number; more makes the cables big and requires more connections on the circuit board.

But... (2, Informative)

hackerjoe (159094) | more than 6 years ago | (#21976682)

Jacks are sockets. It's always been a great mystery of tech jargon to me that female connectors are referred to as jacks.

I can't wait for this to take off (2, Funny)

CagedKiller360 (1216180) | more than 6 years ago | (#21976710)

This will be great for the people with portable music players, obviously because of the lightning speed. If the USB2 can do 480Mbps and syncing 2 hours of videos to my iPod takes just over minute then I'd really like to see it transfer so much data in about 7 seconds, maybe?

Universal asynchronous parallel port (1)

heroine (1220) | more than 6 years ago | (#21976766)

With the return of more data lines and asynchronous receive trasmit, it should be called universal asynchronous parallel port UASPRT. Guess they got tired of timeouts.

Wow! they demonstrated the connectors! (1)

mevets (322601) | more than 6 years ago | (#21977106)

Next CES I'm going to demonstrate my transporter connectors, to(o) much drooling.
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