Final USB 3.0 specs with Superspeed approved
USB 2.0 with a theoretical transfer rate of maximal 480 MBit/s is an aging standard which has to give way to USB 3.0 now.
The operating mode called Superspeed is supposed to allow transfer rates up to 300 MByte/s. USB 3.0 host controllers stay downward compatible to USB 1.0/1.1, though the Superspeed mode requires new USB cables.
Both transfer directions require a separately shielded pair of wires which is called SDP (Shielded Differential Pair). Shielding of the complete cable is necessary in order not to exceed the EMC limits.
The USB 3.0 plugs have five new contacts and stay downward compatible in the type A version. The square type B and micro USB connectors however need an intermediary which is possibly based on optical data transfer.
USB 3.0 will probably not be part of the basic configuration of the Intel chipset Ibex Peak . However, upgrading with controller chips will be possible.
The specification Expresscard 2.0 for notebook expansion cards will also be based on USB 3.0 and is even supposed to offer PCI Express 2.0 as Heise Online reports.
Do you use many USB devices or do you prefer other connectors like Firewire? Just write in the comments what you use and why you do so.