You’re not imagining things if you think you’ve seen more USB 3.0 devices surface in the market this year than ever before. In fact, according to the latest study by technology researchers at In-Stat, 2011 has witnessed a boom for the SuperSpeed interface—it is predicted that 80 million USB 3.0 devices will ship this year alone. If that’s not a direct path to mainstream adoption, we don’t know what is.
One important yet surprising factor that has contributed to USB 3.0’s growth is chip manufacturer AMD (Advanced Micro Devices). While tech giant Intel may have been responsible for creating USB 3.0, it’s been argued over the last year or so that the company has shifted its focus and efforts to a new speedy yet proprietary interface known as Thunderbolt. However, Intel is finally getting more serious about SuperSpeed with the introduction of its Ivy Bridge USB 3.0 chipset debuting sometime next year.
Consequently, AMD has spearheaded the most USB 3.0 integration into chipsets, which in effect, allows for a demand and an entire market of compatible devices to thrive. Just days ago, AMD introduced a line of processors with native 3.0 support to be used in more than 100 models of computers later this year. In-Stat notes that this kind of addition into core technology is essential for adoption and acceptance by users because according to In-Stat’s research director Brian O’Rourke, “it allows notoriously cost-conscious PC OEMs to offer it for free.”
As far as the future of USB 3.0, the study predicts that another consumer electronic could hold all the cards to its success—mobile phones. Just last year, USB 2.0 contributed to the power and storage of 1.2 billion cell phones. SuperSpeed USB is slated to boost those phone capabilities by 2013, complete with a new 3.0 connector.
This sunny technology forecast is promising for Premium USB and our customers. It means that we’ll soon be able to offer the fastest custom USB 3.0 flash drives because your latest desktops, laptops, netbooks and tablets will both demand and accommodate speedier data transfers. With 80 million devices and counting, USB 3.0 is no longer a fringe interface, but a reality that’s ready to become an industry standard.
Thoughts? Are you waiting for native USB 3.0 in your next computer purchase? Do you currently use a USB 3.0 drive? If so, what do you think of it?