The USB 3.0 specification will be released in the first half of 2008, Pat Gelsinger, general manager of Intel’s Digital Enterprise Group revealed in a speech at the Intel Developer Forum.
Intel is a member of the USB 3.0 Promoter Group, which is creating a faster version of the Universal Serial Bus connection technology. Other members of the group include HP, NXP Semiconductors, NEC and Texas Instruments.
The new USB 3.0 specification will provide increased energy efficiency and enable 10-times faster data transfer rates, by adding fiber-optic links alongside the traditional copper wires. It will be backwards compatibility with current USB standards.
USB 2.0 provides top data-transfer rates of 480 megabits per second, while USB 3.0 will provide 4.8 gigabits per second.
As there is usually a lag of up to two-years between the release of a new specification, and the availability of the technology, USB 3.0 should be available in 2009 or 2010.