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SuperSpeed USB Designed for Large Data Applications

The transition to SuperSpeed USB (also known as USB 3.0) is occurring more rapidly than previously anticipated -- due primarily to quicker integration of the new interface standard into core logic chipsets.

Yet, low-/full-speed (USB 1.0) and high-speed (USB 2.0) will remain relevant for the near future as well.

Low-/full-speed will remain the communication interface of choice in mice and keyboards, and high-speed will remain in many PC peripheral and consumer electronics (CE) multimedia applications.

According to the latest market study by In-Stat, USB will grow at 7.4 percent through 2015 with most of that growth being fueled from SuperSpeed devices which will have an impressive CAGR of 178 percent over that same time period.

"Because the throughput of SuperSpeed USB -- 10 times that of high-speed USB -- is not required in some devices, adoption will not initially be as broad as for full- and high-speed USB," says Brian O'Rourke, Research Director at In-Stat.

However, SuperSpeed USB will gain significant initial penetration in markets requiring transfers of increasingly larger pools of data. This process is underway in applications such as PCs, external hard disk drives, and USB flash drives.

It will happen over the next few years in applications such as digital still cameras, camcorders, and portable media players.

Other insights form the In-Stat market study include:
  • More than 3.5 billion USB devices shipped in 2010.
  • High-speed USB is still the most popular USB interface, comprising over three-quarters of USB device shipments in 2010.
  • Mobile phones are a key driver for USB overall, and will play a role in the adoption of SuperSpeed USB.
  • The price of SuperSpeed silicon will begin to approach the cost of high-speed USB, on both the host and device side, over the next two to three years.

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