Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Attack of the giant USB

Pat Gelsinger says an amazing 6.2 billion USB devices have shipped to date, more than 2 billion of them just last year. So when Intel says it will ratchet USB 3.0 up to 4.8 GHz, give it new flow control mechanisms and make it support copper and optical—you gotta say look out Firewire. The Intel folk even tested their nearly 0.75 spec at 25 Gbits/s in a software simulation and aim for a protocol that could hit 100G someday.

The reality check, as NEC told me, is that USB 3.0 may need to cut in half its five meter reach to hit its goals and silicon and software will require a major upgrade. Meanwhile, Intel is trying to push wireless USB to 1 Gbit/s before there is hardly any certified WiMeda products for the 480 Mbit/s products, that really only get to about 40 Mbits/s.

That's Intel for you. Lots of ambition and as much execution as it can muster from such a broad industry.

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