USB 3.0 to begin hitting critical mass in 2011

Posted by Aharon Etengoff

The adoption of USB 3.0 is expected to begin hitting critical mass in 2011, with NEC on track to ship at least 20 million next-gen xHCI controllers by the end of 2010.

"The high-rate of SuperSpeed adoption illustrates that USB 3.0 is a thriving and advanced ecosystem. It is already driving and creating a new generation of devices and components," USB-IF president and chairman Jeff Ravencraft told TG Daily at IDF 2010.

"You know, just one year ago you could count the number of the number of certified USB 3.0 products on a single hand. But now we already have 120 certified and hitting the market. Of course, there are many, many more in the pipeline pending certification."

USB 3.0 to begin hitting critical mass in 2011According to Ravencraft, both the industry and consumers worldwide are more than ready for USB 3.0 - which offers an impressive 10x performance increase over the previous iteration of the platform.

"The new standard is allowing OEMs to manufacture a fresh wave of devices that take advantage of SuperSpeed's minimized wait time and optimized power efficiency. I would also like to note that USB 3.0 uses only 1/3 of the power compared to USB 2 - and of course, the standard is fully backwards compatible.

"In addition, we are already seeing advances in USB 3.0-based graphics technology by companies like SMSC which recently began sampling its ViewSpan product that allows users to easily connect multiple displays to both desktops and mobile PCs."

Ravencraft also emphasized that the USB 3.0 protocol was designed with the future in mind to ensure OEMs would be capable of tapping the standard's full potential.

"When we originally defined SuperSpeed with our industry partners, everyone agreed that leaving plenty of headroom for the future was the preferable option.  



"That is why the protocol itself has been designed to support (theoretical maximum throughput) speeds of up to 4.8 Gbps. So, yes, there is definitely plenty of room to scale way up in the future."

USB 3.0 speed chart