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Introduction to USB 3.0

Introduction

Regardless of what computing platform you choose to use, chances are, your system will support the Universal Serial Bus (USB). It is the de facto standard expansion interface across just about every computing system whether Windows, Mac, Linux or even OS's specific to cell phones, video games and portable devices. While connectors may vary, the serial connection protocol remains the same.

The beauty of USB not only lies in its standardization across so many computing platforms and devices, but also the simplicity with which it function. Most common USB peripheral devices such as keyboards, mice, storage devices, webcam and more are plug n'play, meaning, you don't even need to load drivers. These devices will simply be supported natively by the operating system. Additionally, devices are hot swappable in most cases, meaning you don't have to shut down your whole system to plug in or unplug a device.

The latest upgrade to this popular standard is USB 3.0. USB 3.0 will offer over 10 times the transfer speed of USB 2.0 for a top speed of 5.0 Gbits/s while using an interface that remains backward compatible with previous versions of USB. Of course, to take advantage of the increased speed you will need both a USB 3.0 controller card on the host side and peripherals that are capable of handling the higher speeds.

What does this increased speed mean? It means that data transfers that currently take several minutes will only take seconds. If you're streaming media from a USB 3.0 storage device, it will mean smoother playback at higher bitrates and better resolution. Off loading raw files from your SLR won't be such a drag anymore.

What will you need to take advantage of this new technology? While it may be a while before you see computers with USB 3.0 ports built in or even any peripheral devices that support 3.0, there have been a few external hard drives that have been recently released. Monoprice is actively working to bring this new technology to you as quickly as possible. We are currently planning to release USB 3.0 PCI-E controller cards, USB 3.0 compliant cables and hard drive docking solutions so that you can connect your internal SATA hard drives.

3.0 will certainly raise the bar. The increased overhead will make it possible to bring other new technologies into reality just as performance increases in other areas such as chip speed and broadband have made revolutionary changes in the technology we use today. We are looking forward to these changes and will work hard to continue to bring you the latest innovations without the price stings the early adopters are usually expected to pay.

Monoprice USB 3.0 cables