USB 3.0 Developers Gather in Tokyo, Demo Products

May 22, 2009
Hiroki Yomogita and Tadashi Nezu, Nikkei Electronics
Jeff Ravencraft discussed a number of subjects including the USB 3.0 roadmap in his keynote speech.
Jeff Ravencraft discussed a number of subjects including the USB 3.0 roadmap in his keynote speech.
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A demonstration of interconnecting host- and device-side systems of different manufacturers
A demonstration of interconnecting host- and device-side systems of different manufacturers
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A prototype of a card-type adapter was exhibited as well.
A prototype of a card-type adapter was exhibited as well.
[Click to enlarge image]

A conference for developers of next-generation USB, "USB 3.0," took place in Japan for the first time.

USB Implementers Forum Inc (USB-IF), a nonprofit organization engaged in standardizing USB, opened the SuperSpeed USB Developers Conference in Tokyo May 20, 2009. More than 270 engineers and marketing people registered to participate in the event.

"Including related parties and journalists, about 300 people attended the event," USB-IF Chairman Jeff Ravencraft said.

Concurrently with the conference, USB-IF explained the circumstances surrounding USB 3.0 at a press conference. Component and device manufacturers are developing compatible products, and the Platform Interoperability Lab (PIL), a facility used to ensure interconnection, is fully booked until the end of June, according to USB-IF.

The specifications of USB 3.0 have been downloaded from the organization's Website about 80,000 times since they were released.

At the press conference, a representative of Microsoft Corp explained the company's role in the formulation of the core specifications and the development of driver software, etc. And the company plans to upgrade its operating systems as it did for USB 2.0.

NEC Electronics Corp, which already announced the "μPD720200" USB 3.0 host controller LSI May 18, 2009, revealed the company's approach to USB 3.0 (See related article). Also, Texas Instruments Inc announced the company's plan to ship compatible transceiver chips.

At the exhibition site, manufacturers developing semiconductors and other products targeted at USB 3.0 made demonstrations. In many of those demonstrations, host- and device-side products of different manufacturers were being connected for data transmission.

USB-IF is expecting that volume production and shipment of compatible chips will begin within 2009 and that many compatible devices will emerge on the market in early 2010.