back to article USB 3.0 slouches towards Bethlehem

An NEC announcement Monday should make it easier to get USB 3.0 products to market, perhaps as soon as this holiday season. NEC's USB 3.0 "design solution" marries the company's new system-on-chip (SoC) IP core with its USB 3.0 µPD720200 host controller released this May and certified by the USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF). …


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  1. Wortel

    Thanks NEC


    NEC claims that the SoC/controller marriage creates a "de facto industry standard" that will allow its customers to "reduce risk, improve efficiency and speed time to market, while allowing customers to focus on developing their own differentiated logic" when building their own USB 3.0 devices.


    Exactly where we were when USB1 was released, in driver hell. Universal my foot!

  2. Jason Togneri

    I, for one,

    ...welcome our USB 3.0 driven overlords.

    As for "slouching towards Bethlehem", there's something in there vaguely reminiscent of the ending of the Pratchett/Gaiman novel, "Good Omens".

  3. Hermes Conran


    will the centre hold?

  4. kissingthecarpet

    er, maybe

    @Jason Togneri

    I expect Pratchett was referencing Yeat's poem "The Second Coming" *as well* like Hermes's comment below yours

    ( )

  5. Anonymous Coward

    Data Rate

    5Gbps throughput? The information on the wire is 8/10 bit encoded with a signalling data rate of 5Gbps - therefore the 'theoretical maximum data rate' is at most 4Gbps. You could do the sums based on the published spec and calculate the 'real' maximum data rate. More than 3Gbps of actual data transferred will be impressive.

    This is almost as bad as the criticism that USB 2.0 couldn't reach 480Mbps - of course it couldn't! Within the first few pages of the spec it states that the maximum data throughput you could expect would be 50MBps - 400Mbps (you do have to actually state which device packets are destined for, and acknowledge whether they got there - this takes some bandwidth), which it is nearly possible to achieve in practice using optimal hardware (although you're unlikely to see a disk write going faster than 260Mbps i.e. 32MBps).

  6. John Robson Silver badge


    "Not too shabby - although no one in the right mind would ever connect to such a speedy hard drive using USB 2.0."

    I would - not as a permanent fixture, but recovery from a dead machine is generally a USB function if you have the required cables...

  7. mike2R

    Love the Yeats reference

    Although I admit I only recognise it from Babylon 5 :)


    Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;

    Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,

    The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere

    The ceremony of innocence is drowned;

    The best lack all conviction, while the worst

    Are full of passionate intensity.


    And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,

    Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

  8. BOBSta
    IT Angle

    Will this....

    ... stop my mouse pointer randomly jumping around the screen and floating up the screen of it's own accord when I have and external USB mouse connected to my Dell Latitude laptop?



  9. Lionel Baden

    dont really want

    But whats wrong with usb 2.0 ????

    If you have Gig upon Gigs to copy just wait ....

    Am i the only who is under the impression that usb 3.0 is kinda unecersarry

  10. Anonymous Coward


    How about calling it " LudicrousSPEED "!?!

    Mines the one thats gone to plaid....

  11. David Austin

    not quite.

    the big plus point of eSATA is that it's connected in the same way and to the same bus as internal SATA Hard disks, and can be managed and booted as if it was inside the case.

    For example, I have a Latitude E6400 laptop with eSATA. I can slam a faulty hard disk into it, and run any low lever diagnostic tools I need on it, without worrying about the USB/FireWire stack complicating matters, or taking it back to the office to plug it into a desktop. It can even do asynchronous RAID 1, using Intel Matrix.

    eSATA is a simple, but genius idea. USB v3 will be great for peripherals and Mass Storage Devices, but because you can't connect native or RAID Disks to it, the two will complement each other nicely, rather than cannibalise each other.

  12. Bob H


    USB 2.0 failed to deliver on speed so why do we expect this to be any different.

    Pass me my coat, it has my portable eSATA drive caddy in it with genuine through-put.

  13. Captain TickTock

    Jumpy Mouse...

    BOBsta, is your jumpy mouse optical, on a plastic mouse mat?

    It's either that or aliens are at work. now where's my tinfoil hat?

  14. Dick Emery


    And yet the only device to really benefit from USB 3 (Hard disks and in particular 3.5" hard disks) are still tied to a heavy and bulky power adapter/brick.

  15. Mark 65


    What's the sustained data rate on it though 'cos USB 2.0 is shite so if they haven't sorted that out then it'll never do anything to eSATA - that was created for good reason indicated previously.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Another alternative

    I'll stick with FW800 thanks.

  17. Popup

    @ Dick Emery

    Re: Power supply.

    USB 3.0 also increases the available power, up to 900mA (@5V).

    Still not quite enough for a Velociraptor, but it should suffice for a modern low-power drive (such as the WD Green 5400rpm drives.)

  18. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge


    LudicrousSpeed? Oh no that's left for USB4. Then USB5 will be LudicrousSpeed with cheese.

    USB6 will be HyperSpeed and USB7 UltraMegaSpeed, USB8 UltraMegaHyperLudicrousSpeed.

    USB9 they'll want to sound nostalgic so it'll be HighSpeed2000.

  19. Alan Esworthy

    Speed 2

    AC, I do like "LudicrousSPEED" and in that vein suggest "MarketerPrematureEjaculationSPEED" for USB 4.0 when it <cough> comes along before anyone is ready for it.

  20. Mad Hacker

    Have you seen the hybrid connectors?

    Everything but the USB A cable is a crime against nature. Well, man-made cable nature anyway.

  21. Charlie Clark Silver badge
    Dead Vulture

    The problem isn't the controller but the cable

    In order to offer "backwards compatability" and thus not piss off all the people with existing equipment USB 3 plugs are physically compatible with USB < 3. However, as this is basically done by wrapping 2 in 3 it makes the cables and connectors fiddly and expensive. Better to have gone for a new connection + adapter for legacy or put 2 + 3 ports next to each other. eSATA has the advantage of being here now and being cheaper to implement.

    By the time they get to Bethlehem the circus may well have left town.

  22. Jonathan Richards 1 Silver badge

    I for one...

    ..welcome the transparent plastic rulers. But what units are they measuring? Inches? Centimetres? Furlongs?

  23. Steve 11


    On my laptop I run a java app server, database, browser, IDE, etc etc, all of which can be I/O intensive. Plenty fast, UNLESS I forget my eSATA expresscard adapter. I'll happily switch to USB3 just as soon as it supports Native Command Queuing, etc.

    On an aside, too bad the expresscard slot and eSATA port are curiously missing on the new 15.4" Macbook Pro. Shame.

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