January 14

This year’s Consumer Electronics Show was memorable for 3D television, e-book readers, and other gadgets. The one thing that stood out for us here at CBL was the debut of several new USB 3.0 devices. If you’ve ever tried to transfer 500GB of customer data over a USB 2.0 connection you’ll understand where we’re coming from.

USB 3.0 provides a remarkable speed upgrade over USB 2.0. This means increasing 480 MB/s to, potentially, 4.8 GB/s (current drive limitations put us at 3.0 GB/s in the meantime). This improvement certainly strikes us as a welcome upgrade. In order to facilitate the hardware, many new devices will ship with an added PCIe card until motherboard manufacturers start integrating USB 3.0 into their products. The laptop market will have to wait until new models hit the stores. Old USB 2.0 devices will be backwards compatible with the new standard, and there are definitely a lot of those around: estimates put the number of USB devices available in 2008 at 6 billion, with that number growing by 2 billion a year.

With demand for storage capacity rising from everyday users, the changes can’t come any sooner. As consumers adopt HD-quality products, and with 3D video on the horizon (another much-lauded new thing at CES), 2 TB of data will begin to seem relatively small. The demand from traditional uses and these sorts of new technologies that need immense amounts of data, and fast, will drive adoption of the new standard up quickly. Expect to see the latest external hard drives in stores soon.

Category: business, events

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