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USRobotics Launches USB 3.0 Products

The hub, adapters and cables take advantage of USB 3.0's 10x speed advantage over USB 2.0.

USRobotics 4-Port USB 3.0 Hub
(click image for larger view)
USRobotics 4-Port USB 3.0 Hub
USRobotics introduced Thursday a USB 3.0 Hub, two card adapters and a USB cable.

Aimed at computer users looking to speed up data transfers to and from new peripherals, the new products are the 4-Port USB 3.0 Hub (MSRP $59.99), the USR8401 2-Port ExpressCard Adapter (MSRP $39.99), the USR8402 2-Port PCI Express Card Adapter (MSRP $39.99) and the USB 3.0 Super Speed Standard 6 ft Cable (MSRP $14.99).

According to Holly Oxford, director of sales and marketing for USRobotics, the company plans more products in the family, including other cables, to accommodate 3.0 peripherals that aren't using Type A USB connectors, such as cameras using micro-USB connectors. These products automatically detect the native USB type speed and transfer data at the maximum rate for each individual port to drastically reduce time transferring large amounts of data when used with 3.0 devices.

"USB 3.0 products offer faster data transfers for simpler access to files, enabling users to spend more time editing photos or video for instance, versus waiting to transfer that data," said Holly Oxford, director of sales and marketing for USRobotics. "The 4-Port Hub is one of the first in the market to offer four full USB 3.0 ports."

USB 3.0, so-called "SuperSpeed USB," connections can provide data connections at up to 5Gbps -- up to 10x that of USB 2.0's 480Mbps. For example, according to USRobotics, 30GB of data would take about 16 minutes to transfer via USB 2.0, versus only 5.5 minutes via USB 3.0.

This kind of speed is useful for anything from faster transfers to and from USB flash drives to connecting USB peripherals, which can include external hard drives and RAID boxes, printers, Blu-Ray and other optical drives, scanners, digital cameras, high-resolution webcams and video surveillance cameras, video display solutions, and media devices.

According to the SuperSpeed USB 3.0 FAQ, "In a nutshell, any high-bandwidth device that works with USB 2.0 will become better if updated with USB 3.0 support. At the moment, devices that tax the throughput of USB 2.0 include... External hard drives [which are] capable of more than twice the throughput available from USB 2.0, not to mention bus-powered portable drives that require non-compliant Y-cables to get the current they require for reliable operation... [and] video display solutions, such as DisplayLink USB video technology."

Also, according to the FAQ, "High end flash drives can also push USB 2.0 pretty hard, and oftentimes if multiple devices are connected via hub, throughput will suffer. USB 3.0 opens up the laneways and provides more headroom for devices to deliver a better overall user experience. Where USB video was barely tolerable previously (both from a maximum resolution, latency, and video compression perspective), it's easy to imagine that with 5-10 times the bandwidth available, USB video solutions should work that much better. Single-link DVI requires almost 2Gbps throughput. Where 480Mbps was limiting, 5Gbps is more than promising."

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