Ultra-small PCs that fit on a single chip. Batteries that recharge without cables. TVs that respond to your every gesture. These and other developing technologies will fundamentally change the way you think about and use your computer. PC Advisor looks at the technology of tomorrow.
The USB connector has been one of the greatest success stories in the history of computing, with more than two billion USB-connected devices sold to date.
But in an age of terabyte hard drives, the once-cool throughput of 480 megabits per second (Mbps) that a USB 2.0 device can realistically provide simply doesn't cut it any longer.
What is it?
USB 3.0 (or SuperSpeed USB) promises to increase performance by a factor of 10, pushing the theoretical maximum throughput of the connector all the way up to 4.8 gigabits per second (Gbps) – the equivalent of a CD-R disc every second.
USB 3.0 devices will use a slightly different connector, but USB 3.0 ports will work with existing USB plugs and vice versa. USB 3.0 should also greatly enhance the power efficiency of USB devices, while increasing the juice available to them.
When is it coming?
The USB 3.0 spec is nearly finished, with consumer gear expected to start arriving in 2010. Meanwhile, a host of competing high-speed plugs including DisplayPort, eSATA and HDMI will soon become commonplace on PCs, driven largely by the increasing use of HD video. FireWire, too, is looking at an imminent upgrade of up to 3.2Gbps performance.
NEXT PAGE: Goodbye graphics cards
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- 32-core computing
- 64bit computing with more RAM
- Windows 7 – inevitably
- SuperSpeed USB
- Goodbye graphics cards
- Recharge without wires
- Gesture recognition
- Curtains for DRM
- The Google PC
- Your fingers do even more walking
- Mobile-phone ticketing
- Location, location, location