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Symwave will show a demo of a USB 3.0 storage solution next week in Las Vegas

USB 2.0 has been around for a long time now and its successor, USB 3.0, will be coming in the next few years to offer much faster transfer speeds. USB 3.0 will be available with products on the market by 2010 according to the USB-IF, the body in charge of the specification.

USB 3.0 will be the focus of attention at a demo slated to be shown at CES 2009 starting next week, put on by Symwave and partners from the data storage and hardware industry. Symwave says that its demo will show off the capability to stream data at speeds not previously available.

The big commotion surrounding USB 3.0 is its ability to transfer data at speeds of 5Gbps, roughly ten times the speed USB 2.0 is capable of. The massive speed increase will make it much easier for computer users to backup large amounts of data to an external storage solution using USB connectivity.

USB 3.0 was unveiled by Intel at the 2007 IDF show and was the source of some contention when AMD and NVIDIA alleged that Intel had the important open host controller specifications ready, and wasn't releasing them to other manufacturers to give Intel a lead to market. Intel released the open host controller specifications in November.

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Finally a use for those PCIe 1x slots!
By rudolphna on 12/31/2008 12:18:22 PM , Rating: 3
Most of us with newer computers have them. Those pesky PCIe 1x slots that we never use, because the only things you can buy for them are gigabit lan, and a few sound cards. Those have what, 500MB/s bandwith? not QUITE as fast as USB3, but in practice it should be plenty fast enough, because the throughput of USB 3.0 (625MB/S) is not reachable due to CPU/Bus overhead. (fastest I have ever seen on USB 2.0 is about 40MB/s (60MB/s throughput). Which is good for those of us that dont have a brand new motherboard that sports USB 3.0. Just pop in a PCIe card, and we are set.

RE: Finally a use for those PCIe 1x slots!
By FITCamaro on 12/31/2008 12:27:32 PM , Rating: 2
Considering that hard drives have a hard time topping 80-90 MB/sec transfer rates, I think 500MB/sec is plenty.

RE: Finally a use for those PCIe 1x slots!
By rudolphna on 12/31/2008 12:29:30 PM , Rating: 4
INDIVIDUAL drives. That 500MB/s is for the whole BUS, and everything connected to it. You have 10 harddrives plugged into it (example) you will be using more than 500MB/s bandwith.

RE: Finally a use for those PCIe 1x slots!
By Gzus666 on 12/31/2008 12:34:57 PM , Rating: 2
Who the hell would be using 10 external drives at the exact same time?

By amanojaku on 12/31/2008 12:51:32 PM , Rating: 3
Someone with a funky RAID setup, maybe even in a unit similar to a NAS? Like a video editor who needs a lot of raw storage with low access times? Clearly, this isn't a portable unit.

By PhoenixKnight on 12/31/2008 12:55:14 PM , Rating: 2
Well, there are also PCIe x1 SATA controllers, so you can hook up some internal drives, too. But yeah, even with internal and external, you won't be using 10 drives at the same time.

RE: Finally a use for those PCIe 1x slots!
By rudolphna on 12/31/2008 1:15:08 PM , Rating: 3
It was an extreme example. People plug printers, harddrives, cameras, and all manner of things into them, that eat up bandwith.

RE: Finally a use for those PCIe 1x slots!
By Gzus666 on 12/31/08, Rating: -1
RE: Finally a use for those PCIe 1x slots!
By rudolphna on 12/31/2008 4:49:56 PM , Rating: 1
Its not about what I plan on doing. Here, let me put it in a rhetoric maybe you will understand. Your cars engine has 400HP . It can go up to 200MPH ( . But there is a speed limiter (the limit of the PCIexpress bus) of only 150MPH. Your car isnt performing to its capabilities. Do you really have to go 200MPH? No. Do you probably really need that extra 125MB/s? No. But it will be there in case you do.

By rudolphna on 12/31/2008 4:53:27 PM , Rating: 3
Wow. Can I have an edit button please? What that was supposed to say was-

"It can go 200MPH, but there is a speed limiter on it. (The computer equivalent would be the PCIe 1x bus) The limiter only allows it to go 150MPH. This is akin to having 625MB/S max bandwith, but only being able to use 500. Also like a car, are you ever going to likely need to ever go above even 80 MPH? no. But in case you DO (or want to) you cant go to the maximum speed physically possible, because of the limiter

RE: Finally a use for those PCIe 1x slots!
By FITCamaro on 12/31/2008 1:00:20 PM , Rating: 1
No each PCI-E 2.0 LANE is 500MB/s. A PCI-E 2.0 1x slot uses a single lane and has a maximum bandwidth of 500MB/s. A 16x slot uses 16 lanes and has a maximum bandwidth of 8GB/s.

The OP was talking about people getting addin PCI-E 1x cards for USB 3.0(which would likely have 2-4 ports). While yes USB can be daisy chained, if you try to daisy chain 10 hard drives to a single 1x card, then the limitation is a result of your own ignorance of the capabilities of the bus. And I'd like to see a situation where someone has 10 separate hard drives all reading and writing at the same time via USB. That'd be some serious multi-tasking. Since its not like you can do RAID over USB. Not that I know of anyway.

And if you wanted to do that many hard drives, you'd probably be smart enough to use a card utilizing a 4x, 8x, or 16x slot depending on the number of drives you wanted.

By Bubbacub on 12/31/2008 2:24:26 PM , Rating: 2
i think you can set up software raid in xp pro over drives connected on USB

By afkrotch on 12/31/2008 2:33:08 PM , Rating: 2
There's USB raid externals. The raid controller is built into the enclosure.

Course if you are planning on going 10 hard drives, you'd just go with an eSata external with matching 4x PCIe controller to go with it or maybe fiber channel.

By kkwst2 on 12/31/2008 2:35:41 PM , Rating: 2
The poster was referring to the downstream bus, and was thus correct. The discussion was about a 1x adapter card, so everything downstream is capped at 500MB/sec.

There are RAID over USB hardware enclosures. I'm not aware of any high density drive enclosures that use USB. They usually use SAS or some other high performance interface. Of course, that is probably because current USB can't handle it. Maybe USB 3 would open up that market. I'm sure you could push 1 lane with an 18 drive RAID50 array!

By chaos386 on 12/31/2008 4:12:30 PM , Rating: 3
But there are SSDs capable of 250 MB/s and USB flash drives capable of 90 MB/s today, so I don't think it's too far-fetched to imagine drives capable of 500 MB/s by the time USB 3.0 is widely available. (and down to reasonable prices shortly afterwards :p )

Then again, won't USB 3.0 use 8b/10b encoding, so that the 5 Gbps will equal the same 500 MB/s as PCIe 2.0 1x anyway?

RE: Finally a use for those PCIe 1x slots!
By ShaolinSoccer on 12/31/2008 12:33:00 PM , Rating: 2
Friend of mine has an old Dell mobo that has one PCI-express X1 slot and 1 PCI slot lol. He's got this video card in the X1 slot:

By dj LiTh on 12/31/2008 12:36:08 PM , Rating: 3
Heresy! ::runs to the corner shaking back and forth covering his ears muttering something about x16 pcie::

By RU482 on 12/31/2008 1:51:49 PM , Rating: 2
yes, there is a video card that fits in the 1x slot...but look at the price compared to the 16x slot version.


RE: Finally a use for those PCIe 1x slots!
By mmntech on 12/31/2008 12:54:37 PM , Rating: 2
Unfortunately, the fan for my GPU blocks the PCIe 1x slot, or else there would be a good HDTV tuner card in there. Seems to be a common problem with motherboard designs, even some gaming ones. They never factor in dual slot graphics cards.

By afkrotch on 12/31/2008 2:40:19 PM , Rating: 3
What's the problem? The reason they put the PCIe 1x slot is there, is the fact that it's hardly used. Most ppl use the 16x slots or the standard PCI slots. Besides, PCIe 1x cards work in any of the PCIe 1x or higher slots anyways. If you have a 2nd 16x slot, just put the 1x card into it.

By DragonMaster0 on 1/2/2009 9:54:26 AM , Rating: 2
Most of us with newer computers have them. Those pesky PCIe 1x slots that we never use

My mobo doesn't have ENOUGH PCIe 1x slots for me (just one filled by a TV tuner).

because the only things you can buy for them are gigabit lan, and a few sound cards.

What else would you put in a PCI slot anyways?

By the way, PCIe is required for all the latest sound cards from Asus, Auzentech and Creative,
a good Gigabit LAN card would use a PCIe 4x slot,
all the nicer TV tuners use PCIe,
and there are SATA, USB, etc. expansion cards for PCIe, even the PhysX card for those without nVidia GPUs.

By FXi on 1/1/2009 11:10:48 AM , Rating: 2
What you should be thinking along the lines of are flash drives, USB 3 based. That's where the bandwidth can be more fully put to use, especially by the time of 2010. USB 2.0 still creates some wait times when moving a few gigs of files here and there. Moving gigs at a time is going to be more and more common as time goes by, and lowering the wait of flash drive loads is likely a key importance of this spec.

And then there are printers which those huge 20MP files that will be common by 2010. And there is the whole idea of transferring files/settings from one pc to another, yet another process that can be aided by faster speeds.

Useful stuff!

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