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Delay will greatly impact USB 3.0 adoption in 2010

When it comes to backing up large amounts of data, many computer users will agree that USB 2.0 speeds are simply not fast enough. This has led to eSATA and other connectivity solutions that can provide more bandwidth than USB 2.0 is capable of for the storage industry.

Those looking forward to the wide rollout of USB 3.0 will be saddened to hear that the specification has been dealt a setback. This summer, expectations were that USB 3.0 devices and computers supporting USB 3.0 would be available before 2010.

A source at a top-tier computer maker has confirmed to EETimes that USB 3.0 support in key Intel chipsets has been postponed until 2011. Support for USB 3.0 was expected to show up in early 2010 for Intel chipsets. The same top-tier PC maker source also told EETimes that wireless USB was effectively dead. Rather than moving to wireless USB, which has had many supporting startups and interest groups close up shop, the industry buzz is now focusing on 60 GHz technology.

With Intel not offering wide support for USB 3.0 in its chipsets in 2010, adoption of the specification will reportedly be limited to a few high-end graphics workstations and consumer PCs. The makers of these systems will be forced to buy discrete host controllers for their boards, which will make the parts high-cost items.

The unnamed source added, "It's hard to commit to an emerging technology like this (USB 3.0) when the key silicon enablers are not making it a priority. You get into a chicken-and-egg situation." USB 3.0 "won't get real traction until it gets integrated in the chip sets," said the source.

As for why USB 3.0 was postponed after a big showing at IDF, the source told EETimes, "Tech and strategy groups (at Intel) are not always aligned with the product development teams that are in the mode of trying to make revenue and prioritize what to integrate."



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Just wanted to know
By amanojaku on 10/22/2009 11:11:50 AM , Rating: 2
How many of us actually care? I don't see this affecting anyone other than mobile users and people who use USB as backup. I've long since switched to network storage for both, so for me USB is just for a mouse, keyboard, and the occasional optical disc. I'm not being an ass, I'm just curious what people are using high speed USB devices for these days.




RE: Just wanted to know
By fleshconsumed on 10/22/2009 11:20:24 AM , Rating: 2
I have external hard drive for backup, plus I occasionally need to pull info from old drives/broken computers, in which case I once again use external enclosure. Transferring big amounts of data over USB 2.0 is plain painful. I have eSATA port on motherboard, but for some reason it's finicky on both Vista and Win7, maybe my regular hard drive doesn't spin fast enough because Win7 has trouble recognizing eSATA enclosure when I turn it on. Plus VMWare doesn't support eSATA, but does support USB devices, so when I need to connect external enclosure to VMWare machine, I have to use USB connection.


RE: Just wanted to know
By bissimo on 10/22/2009 11:58:23 AM , Rating: 2
Unfortunately, external HDD's are the only economical backup solution for video editing. I cycle through 1TB projects monthly and have to have every one of them instantly available for revisions. Network storage isn't an option when you've got 50+ TB and growing of backups.
USB 3.0 sounds nice, but for now, eSATA is doing the job for us.


RE: Just wanted to know
By aapocketz on 10/22/2009 1:13:03 PM , Rating: 2
I have a NAS for document backup but I still use eSATA for fast bulk storage and archiving. I do wish eSATA delivered power on the same connector, I have a eSATA drive docking station (thermaltake) but it has an AC adapter for power, and it doesn't power down the drives when not in use, which is annoying.

One important thing to remember when comparing USB to eSATA, USB is used to connect various devices and not just bulk storage media.


RE: Just wanted to know
By jonmcc33 on 10/22/2009 12:12:04 PM , Rating: 5
The people that use USB for backup outweigh those that use network (gigabit) by about 100,000 to 1. Well, at least home users. NAS boxes are still pricey and most people would be oblivious on how to even connect it to their network...as evident of how many people running unsecured wireless networks or wireless with WEP encryption.

I'm looking forward to USB 3.0 as eSATA has never been appealing to me. In the end I might end up getting a PCIe USB 3.0 card instead if they aren't going to integrate them into chipsets yet.


RE: Just wanted to know
By Silverel on 10/22/2009 1:26:37 PM , Rating: 3
This nicest thing about using USB/Sata backups over a network backup is the amount of safety involved. Your external drive is no longer plugged into anything, used very sparesly, and can be locked up in a fireproof safe. There's 0 chance for data corruption in a fire-proof safe while disconnected from the world. Leave that NAS running 24/7 (like most do), and relative chances are infinitely higher for loss.

That being said, I just give my stuff to Google. If they run into massive data corruption, the whole internet is screwed anyway.


RE: Just wanted to know
By mindless1 on 10/25/2009 5:13:55 AM , Rating: 2
You have that totally, totally backwards. External drives are far more prone to corruption from a PC OS crash/disconnect cache loss on USB and SATA, connecting to the PC means potential infection from malware because the client system has higher exposure rate than a server only accessible on the lan rather than wan, external power supplies are much lower quality on average than internal ones.

There was even a very high infection rate recently from a virus that specifically targets removable storage.

Trust me on this, my 10 year old fileserver has never lost a bit of data but I constantly hear of external drives failing.

Maybe the worse possible option is giving it to someone else online, then you have no control at all over what happens and recent news of a certain storage provider losing massive data should remind of this.

No, the best storage isn't some tacked-on cheap external enclosure, it is an independent full system build from and coded for the exact purpose. Of course that also means RAID redundancy and if you are serious about the potential for fire don't bother with the fireproof safe, your hard drive's PCB is soldered together (fire safe cannot guarantee contents stay below that melting point or the actual HDD max storage spec which is even lower!) and a safe can't keep it cool enough, you then need to maintain an off-site backup of the on-site file server.


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