The next USB 3.0 specification is set to deliver something pretty amazing, 100w of power to devices. What this will allow is much more power to devices that are demanding of power without additional power through USB ports or stand-alone power. The USB 3.0 Promoter Group announced that the new standard would allow USB 3.0 ports to power and charge devices such as notebook PCs and would remain backwards compatible with USB 2.0 devices.
Currently, USB 3.0 can deliver speeds of up to 5Gb/sec to compatible products and also maintain currents and voltages up to 900mA at 5V for a maximum power output of just 4.5W. This was roughly double the maximum power output of USB 3.0 ports. The new USB 3.0 spec is more than twenty times its old power input and output and should set the industry on fire, allowing hungrier, more power-sucking products such as monitors, desk lamps and even notebook PCs to power from a single USB 3.0 port.
This would help in more ways than one, it would create an entire new market of products as well as clean up your desk and the tangle of cables leading to the power sockets on your wall. The USB 3.0 Promoter Group says that the new standard will be ready for industry evaluation at the end of 2011 and is set for release to manufacturers in early 2012.
With SATA 6Gbps not fast enough to keep up with todays SSDs, the Serial ATA International Organization had to come up with something, and quick. SATA-IO have just announced the development of a new standard that combines SATA software infrastructure with the PCI Express interface. The new standard will be called "SATA Express," and will allow manufacturers to create devices that can access the bandwidth of the PCIe slots whilst remaining compatible with existing SATA applications.
The combination of the technologies will provide 8Gb/s and 16Gb/s (one lane via PCIe 2.0 or two via PCIe 3.0) - which is a decent increase over SATA 3.0's single-channel throughput of 6Gb/s. SATA-IO is still concerned certain high-end consumer and enterprise configurations could saturate the existing 6Gb/s interface.
In a time when multi-monitor setups are more popular than ever before, ZOTAC is jumping onboard in making it easier for people to set up a multi-display output configuration that was previously not possible.
These DisplayPort and Mini DisplayPort to dual HDMI adapters are the first of their kind, allowing for example a single DisplayPort output on a notebook to be converted into two HDMI outputs. However, due to bandwidth limitations of the older DisplayPort 1.1a or earlier revsion, the maximum resolution possible from each of the two HDMI outputs is 1920x1080.
Meanwhile, all sorts of drugs are somehow imported into the [super secure] borders of most countries (like the US for example), yet a little 'ol cable like the Mini DisplayPort to HDMI cables have been deemed by HDMI org to be illegal. HDMI org are the committee that oversees the HDMI specification, saying such wires are illegal and could soon disappear from stores.
HDMI org claim that any cable with a male Mini DisplayPort connector on one side and a male HDMI connector on the opposite side is unlicensed and shouldn't be sold on store shelves. HDMI org did back up its claims with a few lines from the HDMI specification, one line says that a HDMI cable consists of only HDMI connectors, nothing else is permitted.
Google last year announced a new project: to provide a community with Internet access more than 100 times faster than what most Americans have today. Insane, right? Well, they're following through with that wish. Google, after going through 1, 100 requests from cities around America chosen Kansas City, Kansas as the city to be upgraded.
Google will be working closely with local organizations, businesses and universities to bring next-generation web experience to the community. Obviously over the last decade, the massive increases in required bandwidth have changed - now more and more people are using more and more high-end services like streaming online video, video conferencing, etc.
Rumor has it that Apple are set to use the new connector technology on their upcoming MacBook Pro update which is rumored to happen on February 24. Even if the MacBook Pro refresh doesn't include Light Peak, Apple are expected to use the technology in the future - but most likely under a different name.
Intel themselves have said that the first Light Peak products should pop up in the first half of 2011. If Apple have included it on their upcoming refresh of the MacBook Pro it would be a huge coup - as it's faster than USB 3.0, being capable of 10 gigabits per second in both directions, simultaneously.
I don't travel much these days, but the worst thing about traveling when I have to is that for several hours while in the air, I am typically without access to the web and I get bored easily. I am sure that lots of geeks are the same way. You can only read or play video games or so long before you need to get online to check email or work. Google has announced that it is offering holiday season travelers a free gift.
Google is offering travelers on all domestic flights with AirTran, Delta, and Virgin American free Gogo WiFi while in the sky. Gogo is an inflight WiFi service that allows you to surf the web, work, and check email or anything else you can think of while in the air. Having web service will make it much easier to put up with long flights. Farmville fans won't have to worry about crops withering and connected types can IM and Tweet from 35,000 feet.
We now may have more reasoning behind Steve Jobs' inference that Apple products will not be supporting USB 3.0 anytime soon. According to CNET's report from an industry source, Apple may be jumping past USB 3.0 to become an early adopter of Light Peak technology which is "now on track to appear in products in the first half of 2011-and likely earlier in the year than later."
Light Peak, a high speed connection capable on 10 gigabit per second data transfer, is currently in development by Intel with possible help from Apple themselves, who may have had the original idea in the first place. With Intel chipsets not expected to natively support USB 3.0 until 2012, Apple jump into a faster standard may be a shrewd move.
When it comes to interfaces on computers we all want more speed. USB 2.0 was great as an upgrade to USB 1.0 ports with more speed and better performance. Now that USB 2.0 is old, the new USB 3.0 port is what most people want on their computers. The catch is that USB 3.0 it not widely supported. The reason is that Intel doesn't have USB 3.0 on its platforms and may not until 2012.
It looks that Intel's own speedy connectivity specification Light Peak will be supported before USB 3.0. An industry insider claims that support for Light Peak is coming in early 2011. Light Peak is faster than USB 3.0 with bandwidth of 10Gbps making it a very speedy connection. The scuttlebutt says that Apple may be one of the first companies to offer Light Peak on its computers.
The days of DisplayPort are finally upon us - but it's getting a polish, a WiFi polish. WiGig and VESA are teaming up to bring us wireless DisplayPort.
WiGig's 60GHz multi-gigabyte tech has already begun rolling out in the higher end AV market - mostly in devices that shoot in 1080p from source-to-display sans cabling.
When it comes to charging the gadgets we all live with on a daily basis, none of us really want to mess with wires. There are several chargers on the market today that will charge smartphones using magnetic induction technology, but those chargers require the device to physically sit on the charger plate.
Fujitsu is talking up new tech that it is working on to allow the easy design of chargers that can recharge multiple devices at the same time without having to have a specific position to the power transmitter. The new tech was developed at Fujitsu Laboratories and the intention is to offer a dev kit of sorts to speed getting wireless charging products onto the market.
With the HTC EVO dual-mode 3G/4G handset launching this summer (and nearly ready for pre-order) with built-in hotspot capability, we've got a pretty good idea what all you Americans are wondering: is WiMAX available in my city? Well, buried inside the Clearwire financials is mention of the 19 additional cities scheduled for WiMAXing this summer, joining the 32 markets (pictured above) and 41 million people already served by its 4G network offering 3Mbps to 6Mbps average downloads with an occasional 10Mbps peak.
Clearwire also today announced plans to launch 4G mobile broadband service in 19 additional cities this summer, including previously announced markets Kansas City, KS; St. Louis, MO; Salt Lake City, UT, and the core area of Washington, D.C. Newly announced markets are Nashville, TN; Daytona, Orlando and Tampa, FL; Rochester and Syracuse, NY; Merced, Modesto, Stockton, and Visalia, CA; Wilmington, DE; Grand Rapids, MI; Eugene, OR; and Yakima and Tri-Cities, WA.
Things will get really interesting later in 2010 when Clearwire and Sprint take their 4G mobile broadband network to New York City, Los Angeles, Boston, Denver, Minneapolis, the San Francisco Bay Area, Miami, Cincinnati, Cleveland and Pittsburgh for a 120 million person strong data footprint. LTE who?
Many people out there are expecting the iPhone to land on Verizon Wireless netbook this year. One analyst that has been predicting this has now changed his mind and said it won't happen.
The reasoning for the mind change is that the analyst believes that the iPad 3G data plans that AT&T offered came with an extension for a year on the iPhone exclusive. I can see that being possible considering what a deal the data plans are and how badly AT&T wants the iPhone exclusive.
That is bad news for consumers hoping to get the iPhone on Verizon this summer. I wish exclusives on phones would die a quick death.
I mentioned just a bit ago that there would be 4G WiMax coverage for 120M in the US by the end of the year. There are reports coming in that Clearwire has changed the terms of its agreement with Intel.
Intel is one of the major investors in Clearwire. The change came in the agreement between the two firms that would allow one of them out of WiMax support. Clearwire has reportedly changed from the agreement that required it to support WiMax until November 28 of 2011 to needing only a 30-day notice from either party to change.
The scuttlebutt is that this move could be in preparation for possible moving from WiMax to LTE in the future. Both of the 4G technologies are said to use similar underlying technology so such a move would be possible.
News has started to surface today that the HTC EVO 4G smartphone for Sprint will start pre-orders this month. The handset is the first to support the WiMax 4G network on Sprint and Clearwire.
Most wireless carriers are going for LTE for their 4G network of choice. So far, WiMax is in only a few select markets and there have been no smartphones to operate on the network.
There are a number of computer modems though. Engadget reports that by the end of the year there will be coverage for about 120 million users around the country for WiMax networks and users of the EVO. Most of us will still not have access to 4G until next year, if then.
OCZ are about to release a slick looking USB 3.0-ready external SSD to market dubbed the Enyo. Inside is a drive that uses MLC NAND flash memory together with 64MB of cache and a USB 3.0 Micro B connection interface.
It is expected that the drive will be able to deliver read and write speeds of up to 260MB/sec and 200MB/sec respectively, with sustained writes on the two largest capacity 128GB and 256GB drives being up to 150MB/sec.
There will also be smaller 64GB and 128GB models in the lineup which will give slightly less performance at up to 225MB/sec read and 135MB/sec write rates.
It's been learned that the Enyo series of USB 3.0 equipped portable SSDs will hit the market by the middle of this month. Pricing information is yet to be released.
PQI has readied up a new series of Flash drives dubbed the CoolDrive U368. If they were based on the dusty old USB 2.0 interface then the word Cool would seem out of place, but these are USB 3.0 drives so it's all good.
PQI states the CoolDrive U368 is capable of transfer speeds of up to 105MB/sec which is said to increase further if you use the drives in conjunction with the bundled TurboFlash USB software.
The casing is of typical mainstream design with measurements of 90.1 x 22 x 11.1 mm and a weight of 25g. Capacities start at 8GB and go all the way up to 128GB.
Pricing and availability is yet to be disclosed.
Buffalo has just announced a new external 2.5-inch storage family that gives the perfect combination; an SSD housed inside together with USB 3.0 connectivity to make good use of it.
The SHD-PEHU3 family of external SSDs are rated for transfer speeds of as much as 244MB/sec in conjunction with the included Turbo PC software.
The drive casing is pretty sleek with a glossy black finish. DImensions come in at 97 (W) x 57 (H) x 12 (D) mm with a weight of 66 grams. The drives also come with security software for data encryption and protection.
The family comprises drives in capacities of 64GB, 128GB and 256GB at equivilent U.S. pricing of $282, $510 and $1079 respectively. Shipping is said to commence in Japan, first sometime late May.
Well respected PC storage specialists LaCie have just announced their popular Rugged series 2.5-inch portable hard drive with USB 3.0 support.
LaCie says this drive is capable of delivering up to 110MB/sec read speeds, more than three times that of USB 2.0. It also only requires a single cable to be connected thanks to improved power efficiency.
Being a part of LaCie's Rugged series, the casing can take a real beating with its scratch-resistant aluminum shell, internal anti-shock absorbers and a shock resistant rubber bumper that together will ensure the drive keeps ticking away without issue after accidential knocks or drops.
LaCie is now offering the Rugged USB 3.0 drive in 500GB capacities through its online store at $149.99.
Samsung has just come out with a USB 3.0-ready version in its STORY range of external hard drives.
The STORY Station 3.0 is a 3.5-inch sized unit that can be purchased in large capacities of 1 or 2TB. It features three energy saving modes; idle, sleep and suspend which gives the ability to leave it on for extended periods without significant power draw.
Samsung pre-loads the unit with several software suites including Samsung Auto Backup, SecretZone and SafetyKey for data encryption and data protection.
Of course, the biggest highlight is the ability to use USB 3.0 connectivity, offerings speeds 10 times faster than the ageing USB 2.0 interface.
Samsung is now shipping the STORY Station 3.0 with 3 year warranty. Further details can be obtained within the PR here folks.
Having multiple monitors on your computer makes most people more productive by reducing the time you spend clicking back and forth between screens. The catch is that not all computers have the space for a second video card or a second video output.
Diamond has unveiled a new USB video adapter called the BVUMD3 that can extend video to another display without needing an additional video output on the PC. The device connects to notebook and desktops with a single USB 2.0 connection and sends video out to the display.
The adapter supports resolutions up to 1920 x 1080. The adapter will work with TVs needing HDMI connections with an adapter. The adapter also adds three USB 2.0 ports to the computer as well.