To USB or Not to USB


First USB 3.0 Products available in next 6 weeks


USB 3.0 is here.  For your convenience, here are links to the 9 motherboards, 2 add-in cars, and 5 storage products that (according to the links) will appear within the next 6 weeks.

These are the 9 models of PC motherboards that you can buy (soon) that will have USB 3.0 on them.  They use the NEC USB 3.0 Host chip.

ASUS P7P55D-E Premium,P6X58D Premium
Gigabyte – 7 modelsGA-P55A-UD6, UD5, UD4P, UD3P, UD3R, UD3

This PCI-Express Add-in card has been announced also, it’s the ASUS U3S6.  It has 2 Host ports and 2 SATA ports.  The rumored retail price is $30.  This is an incredible price (if it’s real) since the first USB 2.0 Host cards back in 2000 were in the range of $80-100.  I know because I bought one for me and one for my sister.

Five companies have announced storage product lines.   These include hard drives, solid state drives and flash drives.  The HDD drive capacities will be 1TB to 2TB. SDDs will be in the 32GB-128GB or larger range.  The SuperTalent Flash drive will include up to 128GB.

Buffalo HDD

Dane-Elec HDD/SDD

Active Media Aviator 312

Freecom HDD

SuperTalent Flash Drive

I call these product lines because the first hard drives all use standard SATA drives, and use a USB 3.0 to SATA bridge chip to provide the USB 3.0 connectivity.  This means that different capacity hard drives can be connected to the same bridge chip to create different USB 3.0 drives.  Buffalo’s HDD will have 1 TB, 1.5TB, and 2TB options.  There is no difference in software, only the hard drive needs to been different.

For Flash Drives, it’s similar, the flash controller includes the USB 3.0 logic, and the vendor can connect a higher quality, more reliable, faster flash memory for a better flash drive, or pick the lowest quality flash memory for selling at the super market checkout.

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