New Specifications of USB 3.0 Increase Speed to 10Gb/s

USB 3.0 Gains 10Gb/s Speed, Can Compete Against Thunderbolt

by Anton Shilov
04/09/2013 | 11:40 PM

At the Intel Developers Forum (IDF), the USB implementers forum (USB-IF) announced new USB specifications that boost peak bandwidth by two times to 10Gb/s, making future USB 3.0 devices competitive with those that utilize Thunderbolt technology..


Recent SuperSpeed USB updates include a new specification development effort underway to double the data through-put performance of existing SuperSpeed USB to 10Gb/s and the now publicly available USB power delivery specification. The speed enhancement to SuperSpeed USB will use new cables that are fully backward compatible with existing USB connectors and cables. The new single-cable for data and power delivery up to 100W initiative is also gaining popularity among device makers.

“With the new SuperSpeed USB enhancement to increase performance up to 10Gb/s data rate, coupled with the USB power delivery specification capable of delivering up to 100 watts of power to USB-enabled devices, consumers will soon be able to have one USB cable to support all their needs,” said Jeff Ravencraft, USB-IF president and chief operating officer.

While formally the new USB 3.0 spec will bring the throughput of the interconnection to 10Gb/s, making the technology comparable to Thunderbolt, the latter will continue to have a number of trumps up in its sleeve. First of all, Thunderbolt, developed by Apple and Intel with professional applications in mind, supports two low-latency communications protocols - PCI Express for data transfer and DisplayPort for displays. Secondly, Thunderbolt technology works on data streams in both directions, at the same time, so users get the benefit of full 10Gb/s bandwidth in both directions, over a single cable.

Additionally, USB 3.0 product certification continues to increase dramatically with more than 850 products now certified, including the first USB 3.0 Hub Silicon products. This continued investment from member companies has enabled the USB-IF to achieve worldwide consumer awareness with USB products. These developments and certification milestones continue to affirm SuperSpeed USB as the class leading I/O standard.

“USB continues to anticipate consumer need with relevant capabilities and increased speeds, including the new SuperSpeed USB at 10Gb/s transfer rate and Power Delivery specifications. The delivery of USB 3.0 certified products is continuing to grow exponentially, with over 1 billion USB 3.0 products shipping by the end of 2013. This huge growth is a testament to the benefits, ease of use, and continued relevance of USB technology. Industry adoption will only expand as USB continues to be the standard to which all other I/O connections are compared,” said Greg Potter, an analyst with Multimedia Research Group.