What’s New in USB 3.0October 12th, 2010
The linked article explains what’s different in USB 3.0 (also known as SuperSpeed USB). The theoretical maximum speed has increased by about a factor of 10, to 5 Gbits/sec, and some power-saving protocols have been implemented to prevent devices from unnecessarily draining a laptop’s battery. Probably the most important item, however, is that USB 3.0 requires a different cable—the connectors are the same size and shape but have a different number of pins. You won’t be able to use older USB devices with the newer cables, and you must use 3.0 cables for 3.0 devices. Fortunately the 3.0 devices themselves are backwards compatible. They can be plugged into 2.0 ports and will run at the lower speeds. The plastic inside the tips of USB 3.0 connectors is colored blue to help differentiate between the new and old.