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SuperSpeed USB roll-out raises steam

Official device tally hits 17 - plenty more to come

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CES 2010 The USB Implementers Forum - the organisation that oversees the bus standard - has said 17 products now have the right to come emblazoned with its SuperSpeed USB - aka USB 3.0 - logo.

The list includes two motherboards from Asus and Gigabyte, plus laptops from HP and Fujitsu; adaptors from Ratoc and SIIG; and external storage from WD; drive enclosures from I/O Interconnect; and USB 3.0-to-Sata storage controller silicon from ASMedia, Fujitsu, LucidPort and Symwave.

Meanwhile, last week's Consumer Electronics Show (CES) played host to a variety of as-yet-uncertified devices, including laptops from Asus; hard drives from LaCie and Seagate; and SSDs from Dane-Elec and Runcore. That's just three names - there were plenty more besides.

All good stuff, and the USB IF chose to demo SuperSpeed's key advantage - up to 5Gb/s data-transfer speeds - on an HP Envy 15 laptop and LaCie external HDD. The speed increase seen when copying 300MB of photo files, while not ten times that of a USB 2.0 transfer, was impressive nonetheless.

But this is just the beginning. USB Chairman Jeff Ravencraft told Register Hardware that USB 3.0 was designed primarily for solid-state storage devices, and said a number of these units are in the certification pipeline.

Still, SuperSpeed won't go mainstream until it's in a broad array of devices, including cameras and camcorders, and of these there was little sign at CES. ®

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