The Declaration of Independence lists Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness as unalienable Rights, but our founding fathers forgot one: USB 3.0. Asus hasn't forgotten, and whether you're more of a mainstream Joe or a hardcore Harvey, Asus wants the world to know you deserve a SuperSpeed USB product.
"The availability of super fast data transfer to consumers is not a gimmick; it is the way of the future and means to providing better technology to people around the world," Asus recently stated. "Knowing this, Asus now offers USB 3.0 on a wide range of products beyond motherboards. This includes notebooks, the Eee PC range of netbooks, all-in-one PCs, and even digital media players. All of these feature designs specifically tailored to accommodate USB 3.0 connectivity so that its true benefits are available in full."
The motherboard is arguably the most important product, and here too Asus pounds its chest, noting that they were the "first to include USB 3.0 on a motherboard, offering the new technology not just as-is, but optimized to realize its potential."
It will soon be tough to find a new product that doesn't incorporate the new spec, and looking at Asus product line alone, the company has implemented USB 3.0 support on every modern chipset imaginable (Intel P55, X58, 3450, H57/55, g41, and P43, and AMD 890GX/890FX, 880/870, 770, 785G, 780, and 790FX).
Gigabyte is apparently taking this whole USB 3.0 specification thing pretty seriously. As a result, the company claims it has shipped 1 million USB 3.0-capable motherboards, capturing 1/3 of global USB 3.0 market share in the process.
"Reaching the 1 million USB 3.0 products mark is a testament to Gigabyte's strategy of innovating for the high-end product category, and then driving those innovations down through our product line quicker than our competitors in order to boost sales volumes," said Henry Kao, Senior Vice President, Motherboard Business Unit, Gigabyte.
It's also a testament to Gigabyte's rise in the enthusiast community, though the company's USB 3.0 offerings have been spread out among a range of motherboards, including Intel's X58, P55, H57, H55, P45, and P43 chipsets, and AMD's 790FX, 790X, 770, and 785G chipsets.
USB 3.0 ups the ante with transfer rates up to 5Gbps, which is up to 10x faster than that of Hi-Speed USB (USB2.0).
Gigabyte is apparently taking this whole USB 3.0 thing pretty seriously and is stoked that two of its P55-based motherboards -- GA-P55A-UD7 and GA-P55A-UD5 -- have passed official certification by the USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF).
But the SuperSpeed buck doesn't stop there. Gigabyte says it is "aggressively adopting USB 3.0" on all of nearly its platforms, including the Intel X58, P55, H57, P45, and P43 chipsets, as well as AMD 790FX, 790X, 770, and 785G chipsets.
"We are investing heavily in developing the USB 3.0 ecosystem and are overjoyed to see that the majority of motherboards listed on the SuperSpeed USB Compliance Web page are from GIGABYTE," said Henry Kao, Senior Vice President, Motherboard Business Unit, GIGABYTE Technology Co. Ltd. "As the Windows® 7 upgrade cycle progresses, we are finding that onboard USB 3.0 is a powerful deal clincher as consumers look to future-proof their new purchases with the very latest technologies and specifications. As such, the timing for the introduction of USB 3.0 could not be better, and we are excited about working with the USB-IF to ramp up SuperSpeed adoption and explore the new possibilities that it has to offer."
Gigabyte is getting a bit of help from NEC, which is providing the uPD720200 host controller for all of the company's USB 3.0 compliant boards. In addition, a handful of models also feature 3x USB power boost, which you can read more about here.
Super Talent expanded its USB 3.0 product line this week by releasing the first encrypted drive to take advantage of the new SuperSpeed interface. It's called the SuperCrypt and it's available in 16GB, 32GB, 64GB, 128GB, and 256GB capacities.
"SuperCyrpt, the third product in our USB 3.0 lineup, is the perfect blend of security, performance, and value and underscores Super Talent's commitment and leadership in the USB 3.0 market," said Super Talent COO, C.H. Lee.
Using the new drive, Super Talent says it's possible to transfer a 600MB movie in just 7 seconds. That, and any other data, will be kept secure thanks to support for AES hardware encryption. The SuperCrypt also supports 128-bit ECB encryption and 256-bit XTS encryption.
Look for this one to be available in later this month (no word yet on price).
Every few years, we get new interfaces. Normally, they’re spread out a bit. USB 2.0 comes out, then a new SATA version and later a new PCI Express revision. Lately, though, the trickle of new interfaces has become a deluge, and keeping up with all of them can be mind-numbing – not to mention hard on your credit card.
Let’s take a look at both recently arrived interfaces and those on the near term horizon. We’ll also try to figure out when it makes sense to upgrade or move to the new connection or wait for something better.
You probably recognize Chaintech as a one-time big player in the graphics market before the company merged with Walton Advanced Engineering in 2005. Since then, the company's focus has shifted towards memory products, including the introduction of what Walton Chaintech claims is the world's smallest USB 3.0 drive.
"The Astro Drive Series A101 is miniature in comparison to the 2.5-inch products sold by other competitors. It is more mobile than an iPod, and is currently the smallest USB 3.0 device on the market. This makes this device extremely convenient for consumers on the go. In addition, the dual color exterior design in red and silver conveys high-tech qualities, while also adding a sense of trendiness with its flame-red contours. This makes the A101 more than just a cold, emotionless tech product. Instead, it is an exceptional product that encompasses both elements of fashion and quality," Walton Chaintech said.
The Astro Series A101 thumb drive boasts up to 186MB/s read and up to 130MB/s write speeds, or six times the performance of USB 2.0 drives chugging along at 30MB/s and 20MB/s reads and writes. Walton Chaintech said it will come in a variety of storage capacities, including 32GB, 64GB, and 128GB.
The first is the SuperSpeed USB 3.0 PCIe add-in card for desktops. The Second is the SuperSpeed 3.0 ExpressCard for laptops. Both add two USB 3.0 ports to existing hardware. And both, according to Belkin, pump data transfer speeds up to three times that of USB 2.0. (Which is a tad below USB 3.0’s theoretical upward limit of five times USB 2.0.)
Rest assured, as soon as you have a USB 3.0 port, Super Talent will be ready with a reasonably priced flash drive to stick in it. The company has announced its new USB 3.0 Express Drive. The drives will be available in 16GB and 32 GB sizes. When used with a USB 3.0 port, users can expect to see read speeds around 125 MB per second and write speeds of 50MB per second.
These speeds are roughly twice as fast as USB 2.0 on writes and four times as fast on reads. That’s nice, but USB 3.0 devices are supposed to be 6-10 times faster. Well, this is a budget drive. They are a bit slower than some other USB 3.0 drives will be, but the price will be low. The 16GB should go for around $70 and the 32GB for about $150.
The drive is backwards compatible with USB 2.0, so you can get one to use right now. With some USB 3.0 drives going for over $300, is the slightly slower speed worth the savings?
To achieve this new throughput NEC did some monkeying with the feedback signal linked to the data rate. By delaying the signal NEC says it can overcome the interference that plagues very high speed data transfers. This frees up headroom that allows for more data to be pushed through the same physical space.
We won’t be seeing this type of throughput soon, as NEC still needs to obtain approval from the standards powers that be, like the USB Implementers Forum. Until then you’ll have to make due with Intel’s Light Peak, which is expected to be in production by the end of this year, and will allow speeds up to 10Gbps.
Start your Valentine's Day weekend in the most romantic way possible, with the No BS Podcast! In this episode, Gordon, Nathan and Alex discuss the iPad (Gordon's predictions were right!), Google Buzz, 1Gbps internet, and micropayments. Gordon also shares his angry, angry feelings about misguided gifts and football-related business metaphors.
Do you have a tech question? A comment? A tale of technological triumph? Just need to get something off your chest? A secret to share? Email us at email@example.com or call our 24-hour No BS Podcast hotline at 877.404.1337 x1337--operators are standing by.