USB 3.0 – it’s one louder

The message from CES is that if your USB gizmo ain’t got USB 3.0, it ain’t worth a damn.


Those of us with long memories can remember when USB first appeared, it was a must have on the tick list for any new system, even though there were absolutely no devices available to use it. But with the advent of USB 3.0, or SuperSpeed, the gadgets are arriving somewhat ahead of the machines capable of utilizing its full performance.

So Seagate has stepped up to the plate with the BlackArmor PS110 USB 3.0 portable external hard drive kit for notebook computers. The USB 3.0 kit packages a 500GB 7200RPM 2.5–inch portable hard drive, power cable and PC express card, to deliver speeds up to three times faster than USB 2.0.

The USB 3.0 spec offers transfer rates of up to 4.8 Gbs per second or a ten times faster than USB 2.0, but this is theoretical performance and the new Seagate portable drive achieves 3X performance over USB 2.0 in real world testing.

“As people continue to amass vast libraries of high-definition photos, movies, and music, the storage needs of US households are forecast to grow more than ten times between 2009 and 2013, and the average digital media storage requirements will exceed a terabyte by 2013,” said Kurt Scherf, vice president and principle analyst of Parks Associates.

Seagate says the BlackArmor drive can transfer a 25GB HD movie in four minutes versus the 14 minutes it would take using a traditional USB 2.0 drive.

“The growing presence of large multimedia files in the home means that connectivity and speed is a top concern for a satisfactory experience,” said Dave Mosley, Seagate executive vice president, Sales, Marketing and Product Line Management. “The delivery of USB 3.0 further underscores our commitment to giving people an efficient way to store, access and share their digital creations.”

The BlackArmor PS 110 USB 3.0 Performance kit is backwards compatible with USB 2.0 and can be purchased immediately from at an SRP of $179.99.

Meanwhile, across town…
The USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF) has announced the first 17 consumer products to pass compliance and certification testing for SuperSpeed USB.

The products include certified SuperSpeed USB motherboards, notebook PC systems, consumer devices and enabling device silicon from manufacturers including ASMedia Technology, ASUS, Fujitsu, Giga-Byte Technology, HP, I/O Interconnect, LucidPort Technology, RATOC Systems, SIIG, Symwave and Western Digital.

The products include support for new and legacy PC systems, devices and enabling silicon, which will pave the way for future SuperSpeed USB products.

“SuperSpeed USB is an incredible advancement of the USB technology that consumers know and love, and we’re excited to witness this broad industry support for SuperSpeed USB technology,” stated Jeff Ravencraft, president and chairman, USB-IF. “The hard work of companies creating certified SuperSpeed USB products and devices is a clear indication of intense interest in, and momentum behind SuperSpeed USB.”

The USB 3.0 specification was developed by the USB 3.0 Promoter Group which consists of Intel, HP, Microsoft, NEC, ST-Ericsson and Texas Instruments.