USB-design allows for 25 Gbps

It is just a question of when they will turn the speed dial.

During IDF here in Beijing we sat down with Jeff Ravencraft the president of USB-IF (Universal Serial Bus – Implementer’s Forum).  Apart from the news about AMD having  two chipsets certified for Superspeed – which we have already reported several weeks ago, Jeff also let it slip that USB has been designed with the future in mind.

Even though Superspeed USB runs at a respectable rate of 5 Gbps there is a lot of headroom in the design, Jeff told us.  Basically they can turn the speed up to at least 25 Gbps – thereby surpassing Intel and Apple’s proprietary Thunderbolt technology.

The USB-IF has no immediate plans of releasing a SuperDuperSpeed USB, but expects this to happen in the next 3 to 5 years.

They of course also have to take the economy of producing silicon into consideration. Producing silicon that runs at 25 Gbps instead of 5 Gbps is currently a very expensive proposition, but might well be worthwhile in some years. Also by then there may actually be a real need for the higher speed.

And talking about USB and IDF, it is worth mentioning that Intel is still nowhere to be seen – and USB was not even mentioned in a single keynote.  It is interesting that Intel is refusing to integrate Superspeed into their chip sets, while adding a discrete controller on all their motherboards.S|A

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