The July edition of Nikkei Electronics Asia is reporting that PCs featuring USB 3.0 may ship from Taiwanese manufacturers by the end of the year. The verdict stems from the SuperSpeed USB Developers Conference recently held in Tokyo May 20-21, displaying numerous prototypes containing the upcoming technology that included PC hosts transferring data to connected external SSDs, and "mutual" interoperability between components from different vendors. NEA's Tadashi Nezu said it was clear that the industry is quickly pushing forward with compliant integrated circuits and more, and that the technology has actually matured since its earlier showings.
According to the article, one of the major factors accelerating the USB 3.0 commercialization is the shipment of the world's first USB 3.0 host controller. Manufactured by NEC Electronics Corp of Japan, the company originally introduced the device last month by providing a working sample, however the company believes--or rather predicts--that mass production will begin by September, consisting of a million units a month. This alone suggests that PCs containing USB 3.0 integrated circuits will begin to ship before the end of the year. NEC estimates that by 2011, 140 million units containing USB 3.0 will have shipped; 340 million by 2012.
'Industry observers predict the move will provide major impetus for the development of device controllers for peripherals such as external hard disk drives (HDD),' Nezu said.
Outside the promised 5 Gbps transfer speeds, Nezu also pointed out one of the biggest benefits stemming from USB 3.0: high-definition video streaming via isochronous transfer (data transmitted without interruption). An unspecified source--a measurement equipment engineer--said that the new technology should be able to handle 1080i HD video streams, 'maybe more.' However, the initial applications utilizing the new technology are expected to include external hard disk drives.