NEC triples USB 3.0 speed

February 18, 2010 // 10:56 a.m.

Tags: #16gbps #16gbs #bus-speed #controller #data-transfer #nec #superspeed #usb #usb-30 #usb-30-16gbs #usb-30-superspeed

Engineers at NEC have come up with a new technique to boost the speed at which data can be transferred over USB to a whopping 16Gb/s.

As reported over on Overclock3D, the new technology increases the upper speed of USB 3.0 from an already rapid 5Gb/s to 16Gb/s - potentially allowing an entire dual-layer DVD to be transferred in a shade under five seconds, and an entire Bluray disc in just 25 seconds.

The new SuperSpeed USB 3.0 uses adaptive equalisation techniques to increase the stability of the carrier signal, allowing the data to be transferred significantly faster than has been previously possible without corruption. This equalisation technology, alongside a delay in the data rate feedback, "greatly reduces the nearest-neighbour inter-bit interference in the signal waveform and thus successfully alleviated the issue of feedback-time constraint inherent in conventional equalisers."

While the technical speak will get all but an engineer lost, the upshot is clear: the USB 3.0 5Gb/s controllers that seemed so impressive just a few months ago have just been one-upped.

Although the technology now exists in prototype form, it'll be a while before you can get your hands on a 16Gb/s-capable USB 3.0 controller: the next step for NEC is to apply to the USB Promoter Group - the licensing body for the USB standard - for permission to market the device under the USB brand. Once granted - and assuming the technology works as well as NEC claims it does - the company could well find itself leaping to the top of the USB tree.

Are you excited at the thought of external devices being able to communicate at rates of up to 16Gb/s, or were you struggling to see the real-world benefits of a 5Gb/s bus? Share your thoughts over in the forums.

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