Thursday, January 08, 2009

USB 3.0 highlight

It all started in 1999, when I started working on the USB mass storage class drivers for Windows 98 SE, the next version of windows, "the Windows 2000" had inbuilt USB mass storage class support. I worked extensively on USB and Mass storage class, eventually I fell in love. And had been following the developments in USB world till USB2.0 was frozen. When USB2.0 was released and adopted, I thought it is the end of the world for 1394 (firewire) and any further USB developments. Because USB 2.0 was 40 times faster than USB 1.1. When the wireless USB came into picture, I did not care much, because I thought there really isn`t any market for it, just because bluetooth and WLAN is so well established. I recently came across USB3.0, Tektronix has already released analyzers for it.

The first thing that caught my attention was its speed, believe it or not, it is 5.0 Gbps (Giga Bits Per Second), same as a PCI Express 2.0 (which is an internal bus interconnect protocol). I have not seen any USB2.0 application that is using its full speed. There are some arguments that network over USB2.0 might use its 60 MBPS bandwidth. Practically, nobody would like to connect their Network protocol stack over USB protocol in normal conditions.

What will be the typical application. If this protocol succeeds, then, we can live away with all the PCI bus inside the PC, and all your extensions cards, and even your RAM can be well, connected over USB 3.0. The designers will have a challenging time designing for this highspeed signal.

Kudos USB3.0 but ...
Hey USB3.0 developers, "Why do we want to run, so very fast?"

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