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Facts about USB 3.0

usb-3.0-stick

As technology advances and more and more high-end multimedia and storage devices are developed and become available for the consumers, USB 2.0 connection will simply not satisfy anymore the speed requirements. Right now, USB 2.0 is still among the most popular types of connections ever since it appeared on the market, but let’s face it, we need higher transfer speeds for our high capacity storage devices, our high definition digital cameras, fast smartphones or other devices. Considering that USB 2.0 has a theoretical speed of 480 Mbps, today, it becomes obsolete.

In 2008, the USB 3.0 was presented to the public. It added a new and improved transfer mode called SuperSpeed and it can reach 10 times the speed of a normal USB 2.0 connection. Or simpler, with it, we can transfer a full data CD in a second. The USB 3.0 flash drives or other devices with this technology incorporated are offering a larger bandwidth and can achieve, on paper, 5 Gbits per second. Plus, with their dual-bus architecture, they are fully compatible with previous versions of USB technology.

The actual differences of USB 3.0 are in the protocol used to communicate and the electrical interface. Because of this, you can plug-in any of your USB 2.0 flash drives into a USB 3.0 port and it will work or vice versa. But don’t think it will faster, as the USB 2.0 flash drive will have its manufacturing speed. Also, if you place a USB 3.0 stick into a USB 2.0 port it will work with the speed of the port and will not achieve its full potential.

Since its introduction into the market a lot of USB 3.0 devices were announced and shipped. First, was the Buffalo Technology, which released their first consumer products in November 2009. Also, by January 2010, two motherboards produced by ASUS and Gigabyte Technology had implemented the USB 3.0. In 2011, Toshiba presented the first laptop with USB 3.0 and Bluetooth 3.0 capabilities, the Toshiba Qosimo X500, and Sony came up with the Sony VAIO laptops, which included the new and improved technology. In that year, we can also mention that Dell implemented the USB 3.0 in their Inspiron and XPS laptop series. Also, among the USB 3.0 host controller manufacturers, we can point out Nvidia, Etron, VIA Technologies, NEC, Texas Instruments and many more.

This was the beginning and operating systems has to keep up with the technology. So in September 2009, since version 2.6.31, Linux supported USB 3.0 and Windows 8 was the first operations system from Microsoft that offered built-in support for this technology.

And to sum it up, here are the most important facts concerning USB 3.0 technology and devices. They provide bigger bandwidth that can reach 5 Gbits per second, faster device identification, higher power and management efficiency, increased power supply and backward compatibility.

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