Apple released their new MacBook Air product and we are very excited to hear USB 3.0 is now standard.
If you have concerns about USB 3.0 being a new technology without much compatibility, you are totally wrong.Â The great thing about USB is their backward compatible specification.Â What this means, is the USB-IF [the forum which governs the technology] requires that any new USB specification work will all legacy USB protocols.
So even using that ultra slow USB drive from 2004 will work in the new MacBook Air products.Â Not like you would, but it’s just an example.Â Another example is using slower USB products like USB keyboards or USB calculators or USB breast warmers will work from the Apple USB 3.0 socket.
The USB 3.0 specification has a maximum transfer speed of gigabits per second.Â That’s about 500MBs per second.Â You must keep in mind this is the theoretical maximum and you can never expect this type of performance from a USB device, but it’s nice to know the efficiency ratios are dramatically improved with the new USB 3.0 specification.
Microsoft is looking to make their OS more portable.Â With Windows8 one of the features the Redmond Washington company is featuring is a bootable OS.Â True, we’ve seen both Windows and Linux distro’s bootable off a flash drive, but what makes this a bit different is 1)Â being legal and 2)Â officially supported.Â This seems a very smart move to keep Microsoft positioned to as an option as virtual desktop and thin client systems continue to rise in popularity. Many power users already run virtual laptops off of USB drives enabling them to work on a single consistent environment at both home and work without fussing with a laptop/briefcase. This should cement the concept and help keep MS moving towards more secure OS options comparable to VPMs.
With an official version of bootable Windows OS, IT managers could now use a USB Duplicator, such as the one from Nexcopy Inc., to mass produce their installation and/or restore media in a much faster time frame then using an old school optical duplicator.
An additional caveat of the portable Windows system is the speed of the environment.Â Granted, there is nothing like running off a hard disk, but running of NAND flash will be almost as smooth…and with memory performance getting better with USB 3.0 flashdrive devices, it will become two of the same.
Video of Windows8 running on a MacBook Pro after the jump
Transcend and Taiwan’s ITRI are doing a joint venture design on an ultra slim 2TB USB flashdrive.Â The “Thin Card” was shown at the Display Taiwan convention.Â Not sure why the release was at a flat screen convention, but I guess a moot point.
Nothing official from either company in regards to specs or a simple introduction, nor does the high-capacity USB 3.0 stick appear on Display Taiwan’s trade show website.Â So adding this all up, it could be nothing more then a USB case and a trade show hottie giving out false information.
If you watch the video [here] you can hear the girl say things like “this could be a 2TB drive” well no sh!t I could pull out any sized drive and claim it “could be 2TB” and follow up with a release date of March 2015.
However, lets keep a positive attitude about this and hope a 2TB drive isn’t too far off.
The USB Implimentors Forum announced the availability of the USB On-The-GO [OTG] specification for embedded USB host controller applications where a PC is not required.
The supplement ensures that mobile devices such as phones or cameras are able to use a SuperSpeed USB link in both USB host and USB peripheral roles through a single receptacle. OTG and Embedded Host Devices requiring fast synchronization or streaming of rich data will benefit from this feature.
The USB OTG 3.0 and Embedded Host supplement offers power saving features equivalent to those available in USB OTG 2.0, enabling the adoption of SuperSpeed USB in mobile devices. Additionally, USB OTG 3.0 provides backward compatibility with USB OTG 2.0.
To learn more about the specification,
One of the main goals for Windows 8 with respect to peripheral support, is the robust support for USB devices.Â From the first 1.1 standard, the high speed 2.0 standard and the newest addition of SuperSpeed USB 3.0.
Microsoft expects to see all new PCs have a USB 3.0 port by 2015…but I think we’ll see USB 3.0 in all PCs before the end of 2013.Â Microsoft also forecasts a number of 2 billion USB 3.0 devices to ship in 2015 as well.
Microsoft’s game plan is keeping their current USB stack for 1.1 and 2.0 devices as it’s proven and stable, while incorporating a new USB stack for 3.0 devices.