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For those who don't want a new mobo

Technology enthusiasts have been eagerly awaited products supporting the 5Gbps bandwidth of SuperSpeed USB 3.0 since NEC announced its first chips using the interface. Amongst the first products are Super Talent's USB 3.0 flash drive capable of 320MB/s using a UAS protocol driver. It began shipping to the channel this week and should be available to consumers soon.

The first motherboards supporting USB 3.0 and 6Gbps SATA hit the market last month, but there are many who don't want to upgrade just for those features. ASUS is making a PCIe X4 adapter with two 6Gbps SATA ports and two USB 3.0 ports for around $40.

Other manufacturers want to get into the mix. Vantec has announced a PCIe adapter of its own, as well as an adapter for the ExpressCard format used in most laptops. The company is known for its external hard drive enclosures, and will be introducing 2.5-inch and 3.5-inch enclosures supporting USB 3.0 as well. Expect to see these hit stores in January.

Buffalo recently began shipping the DriveStation HD-HXU3, sporting a USB 3.0 external hard drive. They have also announced PCIe and ExpressCard adapters of their own.

Unfortunately, there have been delays in Intel's chipset roadmap,and there won't be any USB 3.0 chipsets from the blue team until 2011. AMD is planning support for USB 3.0 and 6Gbps SATA, but details have been light.

Ultimately, several motherboard makers have decided to got ahead and put these features on the motherboard themselves or provide adapter cards. In the competitive enthusiast motherboard market, these features are increasingly a must have, and will move to more mainstream boards as economies of scale kick in and chip prices drop.





"Well, we didn't have anyone in line that got shot waiting for our system." -- Nintendo of America Vice President Perrin Kaplan



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