NEW ORLEANS -- The final Universal Serial Bus (USB) 2.0 specification has been released today here, announced today by Pat Gelsinger, Intel Corp. Desktop Products Group vice president, in his keynote address here at the Windows Hardware Engineering Conference (WinHEC).
The high-bandwidth USB 2.0 spec is the technical launch pad for consumer electronics products with more functionality, including higher-resolution video conferencing cameras, next-generation scanners and printers, secondary storage and faster broadband Internet connections. The technology has been jointly developed by the USB 2.0 Promoter Group, consisting of Compaq, Hewlett-Packard, Intel, Lucent, Microsoft, NEC and Philips Semiconductors.
Philips announced its own USB 2.0 compatible peripheral transceiver today (see today's story). Cypress Semiconductor Corp. came out with a configurable USB 2.0 controller last week (see April 17 story).
USB 2.0 will extend the speed of the peripheral to PC connection from 12 megabits per second on USB 1.1 to up to 480 Mbits/sec. -- 40 times over existing capabilities. The higher bandwidth will support PC user applications such as digital image creation and web publishing, where multiple high-speed peripherals will be running simultaneously (see April 21 story).
USB 2.0 was ramped in just a little over a year, Gelsinger said. "Since the high-speed mode has the same basic architecture of USB, migrating existing USB peripherals to USB 2.0 is a much easier task than transferring to a brand new technology. Also, because USB 2.0 will be fully forward and backward compatible with current USB systems and peripherals, working with existing cables and connectors, consumers have the benefit of using devices they already have."
The first USB 2.0-enabled systems and peripherals are expected in the marketplace in the fourth quarter of this year as part of the initial ramp. Broad deployment is anticipated in 2001.
USB 2.0 is also expected to lead to the development of higher-performance peripherals that will bring new applications to the PC, Gelsinger said.