USB 3.0 Getting A Major Speed Boost To Rival Thunderbolt

Look out, Thunderbolt! Apple and Intel's high-speed interconnect just got some new competition, but if you aren't looking closely, you may think it's actually old technology. USB 3.0 is planning to get a major update, and in fact, it'll end up doubling the transfer rates of an already quick technology. The USB 3.0 Promoter Group today announced development of a SuperSpeed USB (USB 3.0) enhancement that will add a much higher data rate, delivering up to twice the data through-put performance of existing SuperSpeed USB over enhanced, fully backward compatible USB connectors and cables. This supplement to the USB 3.0 specification is anticipated to be completed by the middle of this year.

Key characteristics of the higher-rate SuperSpeed USB solution include: a new 10Gbps data rate, compatibility with existing cables / connectors, improved data encoding, and compatibility with existing 5Gbps USB 3.0 hubs as well as USB 2.0 products. No OEMs have announced plans to produce new gear that supports the faster USB 3.0, and it's unclear how the USB-IF will market the "new" products given that it'll still be called USB 3.0. We appreciate the update, but we would've loved to have this spec in USB 3.0 from the start...

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