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SuperSpeed USB 3.0 to rival Thunderbolt speeds in 2014

post #1 of 35
Thread Starter 
The newest version of the ubiquitous universal serial bus protocol is primed to get a performance boost in 2014, with data transfer speeds doubling to 10 gigabits per second while maintaining backwards compatibility with the huge existing USB ecosystem.

SuperSpeed


In an announcement at the Consumer Electronics Show on Monday (via Cnet), the USB 3.0 Promoter Group said consumers will be able to take advantage of the increased speeds in 2014 after the updated specification is completed later this year. Wider availability of SuperSpeed USB 3.0 devices will appear in 2015.

The group, consisting of Hewlett-Packard, Intel, Microsoft, Renesas Electronics, ST-Ericsson, and Texas Instruments, is pushing the new spec as an alternative to the high-speed Thunderbolt interface that hasn't seen widespread adoption beyond Apple's Mac lineup. With the speed bump, USB 3.0 will be encroaching on Thunderbolt's territory with support for external devices that require high-speed data rates like SSDs and secondary monitors.

In addition to the speed bump, the new specification could bring tweaks to power delivery that will allow for faster device charging and may have enough power to run laptop PCs.

Like the Thunderbolt protocol, USB 3.0 users may need to buy all-new cables to take advantage of the higher data rates when products start hitting store shelves next year. While current SuperSpeed cables are not certified to be interoperable with the upgraded 10Gbps controllers, the group said "it is possible" that the interconnects will be compatible.

Computer manufacturers will also have to build in new controller hardware once the protocol is standardized later this year, meaning consumers will need to buy all-new hardware if they want to see boosted speeds.

While currently viewed as a niche product, Thunderbolt does have advantages over SuperSpeed, including dual 10Gbps channels, the ability to daisy-chain devices for faster throughput and long cable runs. Most recently, Corning announced it would be releasing new fiber optic products in 2013 suitable for use as Thunderbolt cables, which can theoretically be used to operate devices some 100 feet away.

Intel is also researching ways to bring faster versions of the Thunderbolt protocol to market, though no timeline for the updates has been announced.
post #2 of 35
Not that it will ever get anywhere near 10 Gbps. I don't even think I've seen 1 Gbps on current USB 3.0.
post #3 of 35
The Article is slightly slanted. Notice it will match TB a year from now with 10 GBs. The never say it's dual channel but mentions this regarding the TB.
post #4 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by gwmac View Post

Who didn't see that coming. TB is too expensive and too hard to even find any TB devices. Even the cable is expensive. Firewire at least gained some traction before it died, far more than TB will I am afraid. The only real value might be the connection of additional displays. Great technology but too expensive and too little support.
Everyone complains about the cost but jumps up and down cheering the Video only HDMI ports with their expensive cables being on Devices.
post #5 of 35
It is not like Apple desktop/laptop lineups does not include USB3. Besides, both can exist side by side.
post #6 of 35
At least this article confirms the spec bump is hardware based, not software. The original press release did say to expect products which support the spec bump to arrive around Q2 of this year, however, which is a far cry from your stated "next year."
Makes sense, since that's the same time frame as the Haswell rollout. Somehow I doubt Apple products will be carrying the upgraded spec anytime soon, though. What would be the point of TB, which remains impossible to find/prohibitively expensive, aside from a handful of LaCie drives and their own Cinema display?
post #7 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by genovelle View Post


Everyone complains about the cost but jumps up and down cheering the Video only HDMI ports with their expensive cables being on Devices.

 

$3.99 off Amazon/$2.50 off Monoprice is "expensive?" ....k How much do TB cables cost, again?

post #8 of 35
It should read.. USB 3.0 to rival OLD 10GB thunderbolt spec in 2014, TB to be 100GB in 2013!
post #9 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Adrayven View Post

It should read.. USB 3.0 to rival OLD 10GB thunderbolt spec in 2014, TB to be 100GB in 2013!

 

Keep in mind that ThunderBolt is 10Gbs each direction.

post #10 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Adrayven View Post

It should read.. USB 3.0 to rival OLD 10GB thunderbolt spec in 2014, TB to be 100GB in 2013!

USB is pathetic (speed). Even USB 3 never manages 1gb/s...

post #11 of 35

I would expect this faster USB to require the same signal conditioning chips that are necessary for Thunderbolt to achieve its blistering speeds. Those will likely make these new USB cables expensive as well.

post #12 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by genovelle View Post

The Article is slightly slanted. Notice it will match TB a year from now with 10 GBs. The never say it's dual channel but mentions this regarding the TB.

Agreed.  USB is processor dependent thunderbolt is not.  USB Superspeed is 10GB's total in and out.  Thunderbolt is 10GB out and in simultaneous (two channel can output/input at the same time at 10GBs both ways).  Also intel invented both.  Thunderbolt is in its first incarnation, the second is about to be released with even faster speed simultaneous in and out.  Slated for early 2014 is the release of the 20GBs Thunderbolt controllers.  Thats dual channel 20GB.

post #13 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cash907 View Post

 

$3.99 off Amazon/$2.50 off Monoprice is "expensive?" ....k How much do TB cables cost, again?

hdmi cables and usb cables dont have microprocessors in them, to adjust for the inefficiencies of the copper cable itself do they.  Hence the reason for the extra cost.  Also thunderbolt cables actually have firmware lol. They can actually be firmware upgraded.

 

 

 

700

 

The cables your comparing to thunderbolt is just a piece of wire not a firmware flash-able micro computer at each end.

post #14 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mechanic View Post

hdmi cables and usb cables dont have microprocessors in them, to adjust for the inefficiencies of the copper cable itself do they.  Hence the reason for the extra cost.  Also thunderbolt cables actually have firmware lol. They can actually be firmware upgraded.


 



700


The cables your comparing to thunderbolt is just a piece of wire not a firmware flash-able micro computer at each end.



But that's just so Apple can control what cables can be used with an authentication chip¡

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post #15 of 35

Thunderbolt is history already.  It certainly has advantages over USB 3.0 for select professional applications, but the industry caters to the masses, not the pros.  USB 3.0 is "good enough" at a fraction of the cost of TB.

 

TB disadvantages are manifold:

 

1.  Prohibitive cost to adapt:  it's not backwards compatible, so adopters must buy all new peripherals.  Peripherals are vastly more expensive than USB 3.0 peripherals due to the need for a TB controller.  Want to daisy chain 3 peripherals together?  That will $150 in cables alone, lol.  

 

2.  Lack of superiority.  TB is faster than USB 3.0, but how much more does it really enable?  External video card?  Even after spending a MINIMUM of $600 for a TB video card, the thing is limited to x4 PCIe lanes.  FAIL.

 

3.  No future price reductions.  TB requires four ICs on each end of a cable - that's a lot of silicon for a freakin' cable.  The next advance will reduce it to two ICs on each end of a cable, which is still far more complex than a passive interface cable like USB 3.0. TB cables will be cheaper, but not significantly, and nowhere near as cheap as USB 3.0 cables.  

 

4.  Intel.  They may have helped develop TB, but they sure as hell aren't interested in adding $25 to the cost of every motherboard, so it's not a standard inclusion on PCs.  Apple didn't help matters by insisting that it be exclusive to Apple computers for one year.  It's almost like someone at Apple didn't want TB to succeed - or more likely they have the cranial-rectal syndrome that is so prevalent in Apple's design department.  

 

5.  Connect a DisplayPort display to a Mini.  Ooops, no more TB.  Only way to get TB is to buy a display that can daisy chain TB, in other words, waste many hundreds of dollars on an Apple display.  DUHHH!!!  This is reminiscent of the ADC connector debacle at Apple.  Buy an Apple display....or else!  Except when people choose "or else", they just buy USB 3.0 peripherals instead of TB, resulting in lower adoption of TB.  Apple shoots self in foot again.  

post #16 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

But that's just so Apple can control what cables can be used with an authentication chip¡

You are talking about Lightning. Thunderbolt cable chips are needed to manage power, regulate signals for the high speed connection over the copper cable. There is no authentication chip.

Thunderbolt is more for professional market. Intel will always update it to maintain a meaningful speed advantage over USB. I'd be willing to pay for a 3-4x higher performance given the price premium.

Apple laptops have USB port(s) for the regular devices anyway.
Edited by patsu - 1/7/13 at 7:16pm
post #17 of 35
Yay! USB SuperDuperSpeed 3.0!
post #18 of 35
If only Apple Intel got away with the thunderbolt shaped like, and backwards compatible with, USB3. Sigh!
post #19 of 35
I absolutely hate USB Port. I hope Apple could licenses out the Lightning Port and just use that. As the final evolution of Port Design, Before we move off to wireless everything.

And Thunderbolt will be moving to 40Gbps in 2014..... or possibly 100Gbps.....
post #20 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mechanic View Post

hdmi cables and usb cables dont have microprocessors in them, to adjust for the inefficiencies of the copper cable itself do they.  Hence the reason for the extra cost.  Also thunderbolt cables actually have firmware lol. They can actually be firmware upgraded.

 

 

 

700

 

The cables your comparing to thunderbolt is just a piece of wire not a firmware flash-able micro computer at each end.

 

I was comparing cost, not contents. Anyone who considers two dollars and fifty cents to be "expensive" obviously is not part of Apple's target demo.

post #21 of 35
I agree USB is pathetic in terms of speed. Even USB 3 sucks. Moreover it had a bigger toll on CPU cycles then TB or FW.

Imho TB is the future. The best move would have been to see an iPhone with TB connectivity instead of this new connector, and put faster flash in the iPhone and boom...
post #22 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by AndreiD View Post

I agree USB is pathetic in terms of speed. Even USB 3 sucks. Moreover it had a bigger toll on CPU cycles then TB or FW.
Imho TB is the future. The best move would have been to see an iPhone with TB connectivity instead of this new connector, and put faster flash in the iPhone and boom...


How many thunderbolt devices and cables do you actually own and use?

post #23 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by ksec View Post

I absolutely hate USB Port. I hope Apple could licenses out the Lightning Port and just use that. As the final evolution of Port Design, Before we move off to wireless everything.
And Thunderbolt will be moving to 40Gbps in 2014..... or possibly 100Gbps.....

no no no no no.

 

We do not have disks/systems capable of using speeds like that (price competitive).

Right now, no one benefits from TB.

post #24 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by pedromartins View Post

no no no no no.

We do not have disks/systems capable of using speeds like that (price competitive).
Right now, no one benefits from TB.

Sure we do.

External storage is now available at speeds comparable to internal. AND, it's virtually unlimited. It's possible to have an external video card for laptops. It's possible to have a one-cable docking system where everything (storage, monitor, networking, etc) all hooks up with a single cable. Again, great for laptops.
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post #25 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by gwmac View Post

Who didn't see that coming. TB is too expensive and too hard to even find any TB devices. Even the cable is expensive. Firewire at least gained some traction before it died, far more than TB will I am afraid. The only real value might be the connection of additional displays. Great technology but too expensive and too little support.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mechanic View Post

hdmi cables and usb cables dont have microprocessors in them, to adjust for the inefficiencies of the copper cable itself do they.  Hence the reason for the extra cost.  Also thunderbolt cables actually have firmware lol. They can actually be firmware upgraded.

 

 

 

700

 

The cables your comparing to thunderbolt is just a piece of wire not a firmware flash-able micro computer at each end.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Junkyard Dawg View Post

Thunderbolt is history already.  It certainly has advantages over USB 3.0 for select professional applications, but the industry caters to the masses, not the pros.  USB 3.0 is "good enough" at a fraction of the cost of TB.

 

TB disadvantages are manifold:

 

1.  Prohibitive cost to adapt:  it's not backwards compatible, so adopters must buy all new peripherals.  Peripherals are vastly more expensive than USB 3.0 peripherals due to the need for a TB controller.  Want to daisy chain 3 peripherals together?  That will $150 in cables alone, lol.  

 

2.  Lack of superiority.  TB is faster than USB 3.0, but how much more does it really enable?  External video card?  Even after spending a MINIMUM of $600 for a TB video card, the thing is limited to x4 PCIe lanes.  FAIL.

 

3.  No future price reductions.  TB requires four ICs on each end of a cable - that's a lot of silicon for a freakin' cable.  The next advance will reduce it to two ICs on each end of a cable, which is still far more complex than a passive interface cable like USB 3.0. TB cables will be cheaper, but not significantly, and nowhere near as cheap as USB 3.0 cables.  

 

4.  Intel.  They may have helped develop TB, but they sure as hell aren't interested in adding $25 to the cost of every motherboard, so it's not a standard inclusion on PCs.  Apple didn't help matters by insisting that it be exclusive to Apple computers for one year.  It's almost like someone at Apple didn't want TB to succeed - or more likely they have the cranial-rectal syndrome that is so prevalent in Apple's design department.  

 

5.  Connect a DisplayPort display to a Mini.  Ooops, no more TB.  Only way to get TB is to buy a display that can daisy chain TB, in other words, waste many hundreds of dollars on an Apple display.  DUHHH!!!  This is reminiscent of the ADC connector debacle at Apple.  Buy an Apple display....or else!  Except when people choose "or else", they just buy USB 3.0 peripherals instead of TB, resulting in lower adoption of TB.  Apple shoots self in foot again.  

 

You anti Thunderbolt people are a joke. Truly.

 

Only people who look for things to make problems out of could have anything bad to say about an expensive I/O that is dual channel 20Gbps bandwidth.

 

Do you even have the slightest concept of how far ahead of USB 2 Thunderbolt was when it launch merely 2 years ago? Do you have any concept of how far ahead it is of USB 3 which launched a year later?

 

It just comes down to price. You can't afford Thunderbolt devices, so it is a failure in your opinion. That is pathetic. Eventually it will even out and costs will come in line. But now that Macs have USB 3, it may take even longer. Fortunately, it doesn't matter because Thunderbolt has uses far beyond USB, so its own niche market will continue on and grow.

 

The only thing it won't do is go away, because it is insanely great, fast, and useful, in spite of forum bloggers wallets.

post #26 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by pmz View Post

You anti Thunderbolt people are a joke. Truly.

 

Only people who look for things to make problems out of could have anything bad to say about an expensive I/O that is dual channel 20Gbps bandwidth.

 

Do you even have the slightest concept of how far ahead of USB 2 Thunderbolt was when it launch merely 2 years ago? Do you have any concept of how far ahead it is of USB 3 which launched a year later?

 

It just comes down to price. You can't afford Thunderbolt devices, so it is a failure in your opinion. That is pathetic. Eventually it will even out and costs will come in line. But now that Macs have USB 3, it may take even longer. Fortunately, it doesn't matter because Thunderbolt has uses far beyond USB, so its own niche market will continue on and grow.

 

The only thing it won't do is go away, because it is insanely great, fast, and useful, in spite of forum bloggers wallets.

 

Many people treat technology the same way they treat food: they're willing to put up with genetic modifications, harmful pesticides, hormones, additives to make it look better/stay fresh longer, etc simply to save a buck.  Then they'll spend a fortune when they're dying to try and extend their lives a bit longer.  Doesn't make sense, but when has reason and logic ever been the main factor in most people's decision making?

 

Same goes with technology: people will tolerate poorly designed, fault prone, buggy, laggy products just to save a buck.  Then spend countless hours trying to solve the problems caused by such technology and/or spend money on other products to compensate (e.g. malware scanning software which lags the computer so then they buy more RAM, SSDs, etc to compensate).  Just doesn't make sense.

 

I'll reiterate the same point I keep making about USB vs Thunderbolt: USB requires a very complex controller (master) device to work and the communication protocol has a high amount of overhead.  Meaning: it uses a lot more CPU power and bandwidth.  Which is why you never get close to the maximum bus speed, and why your computer may get bogged down from time to time.

 

But hey, go ahead and upgrade your computer to make it work well, or waste time trying to get peripherals to perform as well as you thought they should, and continue to believe that you somehow saved money.

 
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post #27 of 35

ADB, SCSI and Firewire lasted forever too.

 

The price of Thunderbolt will only come down if it becomes standard on all PC's.  If that doesn't happen, it will fade fast.  Technical superiority is no guarantee of success. Ubiquity and price trump all. iPods used to have Firewire, PC's didn't, so USB replaced Firewire on iPods, even though it was slower.
 

Thunderbolt could be great, but if it doesn't catch on, it will just be niche with a limited life span.

post #28 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by cnocbui View Post

ADB, SCSI and Firewire lasted forever too.

 

The price of Thunderbolt will only come down if it becomes standard on all PC's.  If that doesn't happen, it will fade fast.  Technical superiority is no guarantee of success. Ubiquity and price trump all. iPods used to have Firewire, PC's didn't, so USB replaced Firewire on iPods, even though it was slower.
 

Thunderbolt could be great, but if it doesn't catch on, it will just be niche with a limited life span.

 

It's a catch-22 with Thunderbolt (just as it was with Firewire): no one wants to jump in because of the cost.  But the cost is high because no one is jumping in (i.e. quantity drives down cost).  A couple of big players need to be willing to lose money on it for a bit in order to make it ubiquitous.

 
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post #29 of 35
Originally Posted by OriginalMacRat View Post
Keep in mind that ThunderBolt is 10Gbs each direction.

 

So 200 Gbps total. Across ONE CABLE!


Originally Posted by cnocbui View Post
Ubiquity and price trump all.

 

Apple should probably just throw in the towel, then. Their computers aren't catching on.


Thunderbolt's coming natively with Haswell, so we'll see PCs with it.

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post #30 of 35
Apple's adoption of thunderbolt is admirable but has shown to be too early. Very few peripheral devices are available and all are high priced. The average consumer balks at the high cost and simply makes due with sad old USB2. This is discouraging considering the potential benefit of thunderbolt. I would have thought it would have been good for Apple/Intel to subsidize the price of thunderbolt to serve as a catalyst for adoption by peripheral manufacturers. As it is thunderbolt seems lost and unknown to most. Along comes USB3 and the cheaper adoption of an almost as fast technology. It has been a while since it has come out, and correct me if I'm wrong, but still not a whirlwind of adoption as I can see it. I hope both succeed. I hope USB3 is dirt cheap to license and found in every computer and similarly thunderbolt is decreased in price to make it affordable. Odd that with such great technologies they are not adopted faster by the manufacturers and consumers. This especially considering our rabid consumption of chip speed and the increase in data transfer traffic from images and movies and the like.
post #31 of 35
Originally Posted by caribousteaks View Post
Apple's adoption of thunderbolt is admirable but has shown to be too early.

 

How can it possibly be too early to adopt a port? No one would make accessories for a port that doesn't exist anywhere. 

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post #32 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by gwmac View Post

Who didn't see that coming. TB is too expensive and too hard to even find any TB devices. Even the cable is expensive. Firewire at least gained some traction before it died, far more than TB will I am afraid. The only real value might be the connection of additional displays. Great technology but too expensive and too little support.

The cost isn't that high really. Have you looked at other technologies with that kind of bandwidth? Most are quite expensive. It exceeds the fastest eSATA, which you can't use outside of a mac pro. I'm not sure how its current adoption aligns with intel's goals.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Adrayven View Post

It should read.. USB 3.0 to rival OLD 10GB thunderbolt spec in 2014, TB to be 100GB in 2013!


You have your facts wrong on this one. Intel hasn't promised a speed boost of any kind until 2014, and they did not promise 100Gb (gigabits, you wrote gigabytes) until much later. They also hinted it would be more expensive than what is currently offered. The idea that it will appear on everything is nonsense. It's good for things with high bandwidth requirements. It's just a few extremely silly people on here want to view it as a usb replacement without ever having read about the cost to implement thunderbolt variants or what is required for certification. As an example people have gotten external gpus to work over thunderbolt, but none of those solutions would be certified by intel as they haven't met certain criteria such as plug and play drivers.

post #33 of 35
Why do I fill it to actually only increase 2% speed, this is there claim, but if thunderbolt was to be adopted more we would need it on idevices(not the device but the cord) sold on iTunes separately.
post #34 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Curtis Hannah View Post

Why do I fill it to actually only increase 2% speed, this is there claim, but if thunderbolt was to be adopted more we would need it on idevices(not the device but the cord) sold on iTunes separately.

1) Thunderbolt being adopted more doesn't mean that USB would be un-adopted.

2) You can't make iDevices use Thunderbolt unless you add the appropriate HW to the iDevice. Thunderbolt is protocol independent but it still needs the proper components for processing even if you wish to use USB data. That could happen which would improve charging times but data is still limited to the internal NAND. NAND is slow. Unless we can get it much faster than 20-25MB/s it's pointless to add so much cost without any gain in syncing performance.

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post #35 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

1) Thunderbolt being adopted more doesn't mean that USB would be un-adopted.

2) You can't make iDevices use Thunderbolt unless you add the appropriate HW to the iDevice. Thunderbolt is protocol independent but it still needs the proper components for processing even if you wish to use USB data. That could happen which would improve charging times but data is still limited to the internal NAND. NAND is slow. Unless we can get it much faster than 20-25MB/s it's pointless to add so much cost without any gain in syncing performance.
I guess you have a point but it is still a major lacking part to it, if apple were to eliminate its macs line soon, then thunderbolt a apple (and intel I believe) designed port would seize to exist, it has no real world dominance, and at that point it's only hope is it appear on windows.
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