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The USB 3.0 standard could be completed by the end of June 2008 - but the companies behind the specification need more of their fellows to pitch in and help get it done on time.

Dubbed SuperSpeed USB, the third major incarnation of the serial bus standard is set to deliver data transfer speeds of around 4.7Gb/s - ten times today's 480Mb/s limit. At the same time, the new spec will be compatible with older USB 1.1 and 2.0 products, cables and connectors.

However, USB 3 will introduce new ports, including an optical interconnect.

The USB 3.0 Promoter Group - members include Intel, HP, Texas Instruments, Microsoft and NEC - is already working on the first draft of the specification, it said today, but it wants others to have their say too. To do so, firms have to join the broader USB Implementers Forum and be "in good standing" within said body, whatever that means.

Indeed, we here ask the USB IF to send us a list of all its members who not in good standing. That should sort the wheat from the chaff...

Whatever, would-be USB 3.0 pitcher-inners also need to sign a USB 3.0 contributors agreement, after which they'll have full access to all the goodies.

The initial USB 3.0 spec is due to be reviewed mid-January. Assuming, everyone's happy with it, the spec will move toward finalisation and, eventually, publication by the end of H1 2008.

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