Intel's USB "Cool Wall"  (Source: DailyTech, Brandon Hill)
Intel discusses its plans for USB 3.0 technology

During Patrick Gelsinger's keynote at the Intel Developer Forum (IDF) today, Intel made a small announcement regarding a group of companies who are now working together to create a "superspeed personal USB interconnect” with 10 times the speed of the current generation technology of USB 2.0.  The USB 3.0 Promoter Group -- which consists of Intel, Hewlett-Packard, NEC Corporation, NXP Semiconductors, Microsoft and Texas Instruments -- looks to make several other major changes.

Along with the 10x speed difference between USB 3.0 and the current generation, the USB 3.0 Promoter Group is taking power consumption and better protocol efficiency into consideration while designing 3.0.  USB 3.0 will be able to use the same architecture of wired USB, though no other specific details are yet available.

To help drive home the importance of USB technology, Gelsinger pointed out the usual USB devices everyday users have in their homes and offices: keyboards, mice, speakers, cameras, etc.  He also introduced a number of novelty items that are powered by USB including refrigerators and mittens.

"USB 3.0 is the next logical step for the PC's most popular wired connectivity," said Jeff Ravencraft, Intel technology strategist and USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF) president.  "The digital era requires high-speed performance and reliable connectivity to move the enormous amounts of digital content now present in everyday life. USB 3.0 will meet this challenge while maintaining the ease-of-use experience that users have come to love and expect from any USB technology."

Specific USB 3.0 specifications should be available sometime in the first half of 2008.

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