USB 2.0

Intel delivers USB 3.0 in its chips, finally

In Silicon Valley time, it's been eons but USB 3.0 support has finally landed in Intel chips.

Intel -- somewhat stealthily -- announced today that its 7-series chipset family is now available and "shipping in mobile and desktop OEM systems and motherboards worldwide...[and] they also integrate USB 3.0."

The new chipsets -- companion silicon to the main processor -- support both 2nd Generation Intel Core processors, aka Sandy Bridge, and 3rd Generation Intel Core chips, aka Ivy Bridge.

With today's announcement of availability, it's been roughly ten years since Intel announced support … Read more

Iomega unveils Mac external hard drive with USB hub

Your iMac is running out of peripheral ports, and you still want to add an external hard drive and a few other devices to it? Iomega has something for you.

The company introduced today its first external hard drive, called Iomega Mac Companion Hard Drive, that also comes with two USB ports that you can plug your iOS-based devices into to charge and sync with the Mac. The ports can also be used with other USB devices, such as printers or other external storage devices.

Basically, the Iomega Mac Companion Hard Drive is an external desktop hard drive that also … Read more

Tracking Apple's other Intel transition

With today's Mac and display updates in the can, Apple is just one machine away from having Thunderbolt across the line. That's the new speedy port that brings high-speed input/output to storage devices, displays, and other data hungry peripherals, topping what's available through USB 3.0 or Firewire 800 in theoretical transfer speed (see CNET's FAQ).

So far the number of gadgets that can make use of the nascent technology are few. In fact, it took months after Thunderbolt's introduction in Apple's MacBook Pro line earlier this year for the first purchasable Thunderbolt cableRead more

Western Digital unveils 6TB external drive

Western Digital has launched a new external drive that offers 6 terabytes of storage.

Unveiled today, the latest edition to the company's My Book Studio Edition II product line upgrades the storage space of 4TB and 2TB offered by earlier models. But by housing two hard disks internally, the new version maintains the same dimensions, shape, and weight as its lower-capacity cousins.

Selling for $549.99, the new My Book Studio Edition II 6TB drive is being geared more toward the Mac than Windows. Western Digital is targeting it specifically to creative pros and businesses that need to store … Read more

AOC Breeze Android tablet, under $200, has USB 2.0

Apple's iPad has a lot of things going for it, but ports aren't one of them. The ever-more-crowded tablet landscape is getting a number of intriguing Android products, and the AOC Breeze 8-inch tablet, announced this morning, is yet another one. What the 8-inch Android 2.1-running device does have of note is a full USB 2.0 port. Another advantage: it costs less than $200.

An 800x600-pixel display, 802.11 b/g Wi-Fi, 4GB of flash memory, Rockchip processor, and microSD card slot aren't exciting, and the system doesn't really stand out at first glance, … Read more

Long delay expected for Intel support of USB 3.0

USB 3.0 will not see widespread adoption until at least late 2011 because of lack of direct support from Intel. As a result, the new standard may not become as prevalent this decade as USB 2.0 has been through most of the past decade.

The current USB standard, which is found on almost all mainstream gadgets today, has been around a long time. USB 2.0 was first available as far back as 2001 and Intel laid the groundwork for widespread use on PCs and devices in spring 2002 when it put the technology in its silicon.

Eight years later, the advantages of moving to a faster standard, USB 3.0, are clear (for devices like digital cameras, camcorders, and hard drives): transfer rates jump from 480 megabits per second to 5 gigabits per second--which is more than a 10-fold increase in speed. And as this CNET Review of a USB 3.0 Seagate external hard disk indicates, it can make a big difference: the Seagate drive was the "fastest USB external hard drive to date," according to CNET Labs.

But without direct support in Intel's silicon, it's a chicken-and-egg dilemma. The result: mass adoption of USB 3.0 by PC makers is unlikely.

"The real sweet spot of a new version of USB comes when it is integrated into the chipset of the PC," said Brian O'Rourke, an analyst at In-Stat. "That's when USB becomes mainstream...By integrating it into its chipsets, Intel essentially allows PC OEMs to offer that new flavor of USB for free," he said.

But Intel is not expected to put USB 3.0 in its silicon until 2011, according to O'Rourke. That means the interval between the initial introduction of USB 3.0 by NEC in May 2009 and Intel's adoption will be much longer than the transition was in 2001-2002. "In this go-round, it's going to be about two and a half years instead of a year," said O'Rourke, who also writes about this in a blog entitled "Transition to SuperSpeed USB Will Be Slow."

In an interview last month in Heise Online, an Intel representative said that USB 3.0 wouldn't become mainstream until… Read more

Imation ships first wireless USB hard drive

If you've wished you could connect your external hard drive to your computer without having to use the USB cable, now you can.

Imation announced Thursday the availability of the first wireless USB external hard drive, the Pro WX. The hard drive works just like any other USB hard drive, with one exception: it doesn't require a USB cable.

Wireless USB has been under development for about five years, and some of the first products were demoed at CES 2009. This technology allows you to connect USB 2.0 devices to a computer wirelessly from up to 30 … Read more

Get more productive with USB display adapter

Having a second monitor doesn't just make your office space look more serious, it also helps you boost your productivity. Unfortunately, most computers don't come with a video card that can handle more than one display at a time. This is when you need to resort to one of the USB ports for the second display.

Other World Computing announced on Tuesday its USB 2.0 display adapter that helps you easily add additional monitors to your computer. The adapter is basically a bus-powered USB external video card. All you need to do is plug it into an … Read more