Update of USB 3.0
We talked with Jeff Ravencraft of the USB-IF about the current status of USB 3.0. The main talking points were that Superspeed USB is becoming widely available, and is providing end-to-end solutions with over 350 certified products.
The latest version of USB has the capacity to deliver streaming video and other media to any platform from any platform through its 10x faster speed than USB 2. One new capability is the transformation to become a universal charger, driven by the EU directives. (See the video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4oiZCCEFrk8) The higher speeds allow for lower total power consumption compared to 2.0 for moving the same amount of data. And as usual with USB, the upgraded 3.0 is back compatible with 2.0 systems.
Some of the announcements related to US 3.0 include Intel's 7series chipsets and the C216 chipset family were 3.0 certified. Many other announcements have been released on 3.0 products and software in the last year.
A new audio/video device class specification supports A/V data over multiple types of source and target devices. This capability, combined with power delivery, makes single-cable devices with both power and display functions possible. All of the A/V source, transfer, storage, and display functions are now possible over a single cable. The basic functionality is to provide multi-screen capabilities to fixed and mobile platforms.
The mobile broadband interface specification supports multiple IP connections per USB interface. This capability increases USB functionality in cell phones and other low-power devices. The new specification eliminates the need for Ethernet headers, minimizing overhead and improving data transfer efficiency by sending the raw IP frames.
The power delivery specification enables high voltage and current to deliver up to 100 W through upgraded cables. The power specification enables bidirectional voltage and current values to be negotiated over the power pins. Existing cables are compatible with the specification for lower levels of power up to 7.5 W. The specifications include detailed requirements for the power sources.
One example of this new capability is to power your tablet from your TV while streaming a video to the bigger display. The expectation is that in the near future, powered hubs will become available to provide power to both devices and well as high-speed data transfers. This new capability will be a big driver to eliminate all separate power bricks to reduce costs and improve convenience for consumers. The elimination of separate power bricks will help "green" the industry and potentially reduce landfill by over 50M tons just in discarded power bricks.
The superspeed inter-chip specification ( SSIC) defines a USB-based chip-to-chip interconnect. This specification combines USB 3.0 software and protocol layers with the MIPI M-PHY which is optimized for mobile internal use.