USB 3.0 Equipped PCs Will Be Shipping by End of the Year



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Bottom line is USB 2.0 will not fit, so "backwards-compatible" will have to be interpreted differently, whatever it's intended to mean. I have an all 3.0 notebook right now and can't get any of my 2.0 devices connected, so I suppose I'll have to get one of those cards the first comment mentioned.



USB 3.0 is backwards compatible with prior USB versions. You would just need to use the old cabling. When using the old cabling you will be limited to USB 2.0 speeds (even when using a 3.0 device). 



Say it ain't so!

If I remember correctly from MaxPC's "100 greatest PC innovations of all time" (or something like that) article, they cited USB as number one for reasons including "shrewdly [keeping] the same formfactor" and therefore retaining compatibility between USB 2 and 1. If USB 3 isn't compatible with 2 or 1, I will seriously consider either waiting years to adopt, or not adopting at all, the new technology. 


There are 10 types of people in this world: those who understand binary, those who don't, and those who mistake it for ternary.



Looks like Linux is the winner:,linux-first-os-to-support-usb-30.aspx.

An MS spokesperson very recently confirmed to the Seattle Times that it won't be supported on Win7 at launch: "They'll consider it down the road", which could mean SP1...or if you remember USB 1.0, maybe not until NT7.

It might be supported in Vista with another SP or update, but what MS sez in November doesn't necessarily apply seven months later. No indication I could find if it will be supported with an update for XP, but my money sez no.

Got a Mac? Not in Snow Leopard for now, either.



Probably going to be an SP1 thing.  XP got USB 2.0 support in SP1.



From the USB3.0 faq:

Can I use USB 2.0 cables with a SuperSpeed
host or device?

Yes, but communications will use a slower speed. A USB 3.0 cable contains
both SuperSpeed and USB 2.0 wires. USB 2.0 cables fit USB 3.0 receptacles
and carry USB 2.0 traffic only.'



A new major feature is the SuperSpeed bus, which provides a fourth
transfer mode at 5 Gbit/s. The raw throughput is 500 MByte/s, and the
specification considers it reasonable to achieve 400 MByte/s or more
after protocol overhead.

When operating in SuperSpeed mode, full-duplex
signaling occurs over 2 differential pairs separate from the
non-SuperSpeed differential pair. This results in USB 3.0 cables
containing 2 wires for power and ground, 2 wires for non-SuperSpeed
data, and 4 wires for SuperSpeed data, and a shield (not required in
previous specifications).

To accommodate the additional pins for SuperSpeed mode, the physical
form factors for USB 3.0 plugs and receptacles have been modified from
those used in previous versions. Standard-A cables have extended heads
where the SuperSpeed connectors extend beyond and slightly above the
legacy connectors. Similarly, the Standard-A receptacle is deeper to
accept these new connectors. A legacy Standard-A cable will operate as
intended and will never interact with the SuperSpeed connectors,
ensuring backward compatibility. The Standard-B modifications could not
be made as elegantly; the SuperSpeed connectors had to be placed on top
of the existing form factor, making legacy Standard-B plugs workable on
SuperSpeed Standard-B receptacles, but not vice versa.



The usb 3 connector looks bigger than the current one.  Will usb 3 be cross-compatible with usb 2?




hmm the powers at be have said it is suppose to be cross-compatible ever since it was thought up.  But the image states otherwise.  If its not, then that is a huge killer in adoption rate, but there could be an adapter which could also be a killer because of the hassle.



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