What is USB 3.0?

USB 3.0 is the latest revision of the Universal Serial Bus standard released in 2008. This new standard offers increased transfer rates up to 4.8Gbps, increased maximum bus power, improved power management, and new connectors and cables that facilitate the higher transfer speeds and additional power. Implementation of the technology began in 2009 initially with USB 3.0 adapters (PCIe and ExpressCard) to allow installation of the new 3.0 ports into current computer systems. Hubs followed allowing additional 3.0 expansion. PC computers and laptops have slowly been implementing the new standard since 2010, but the new 3.0 ports are expected to be in the majority of all new computers by 2012 when the popular manufacturers make it a standard.

USB 3.0 cables and devices are also required to achieve the fast USB 3.0 transfer speeds. Currently the majority of 3.0 devices include external hard drives, hard drive docks and flash drives. Additional devices like memory card readers, display adapters, and transfer cables launched in 2011, with more products expected in 2012 and later.

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