Some time yet before USB 3.0 devices hits speed ceiling


It will be some time before USB 3.0 devices are able to realize the maximum speed that the standard was designed to support.  Ratified earlier this year, the latest iteration of the USB standard is named SuperSpeed, and was designed for data transfers of up to 10 times faster, or up to 4.8Gbps.

However, The Register wrote about tests conducted on a couple of USB 3.0 storage appliance, which saw speeds of 127MB per second. While this looks impressive, this throughput is but only two to three times that of the older USB 2.0 standard.

Of course, as Craig Reid, Buffalo's Product Manager for direct-attached storage in the UK pointed out, "A single external disk drive cannot saturate the USB 3.0 link." This is true as far as current generation of storage devices is concerned, though the results from a solid state drive (SSD) would be much nearer.

According to Reid, the other problem is the fact that the USB controller is a complex piece of electronics designed to work with up to 127 connect devices. This can range from keyboards to webcam and storage devices, among other devices.

I was able to achieve in excess of 160MBps transfer rate on my Samsung SSD. Whether this will mean the bundling of faster hard disk drives with USB 3.0 appliances, or computer makers will jump straight to using SSDs remains to be seen.

For more on this story:
- check out this article at The Register

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