Jul 9, 2012

SuperSpeed MacBook USB 3.0 Ports - Backward Compatible

Across the board revisions to Apple's MacBook line-up have been well received. The new USB 3.0 Air and Pro models are shipping in volume and listed as IN-STOCK and readily available. The bleeding-edge Retina Display model is still projected for shipping in August.

Was somewhat surprised during Phil Schiller's WWDC keynote segment when he introduced Apple's latest laptop models. He seemed to gloss over the real-world advantages and utter SIGNIFICANCE USB 3.0 is going to globally have to the computing marketplace in the decade ahead. We're talking BILLIONS of USB3 accessories computers, gadgets, and peripherals according to industry predictions.

He did note the new MacBook USB 3 ports are backward compatible with slower legacy USB 2.0 and 1.1 devices (which is simply part of the SuperSpeed USB 3 specification).  What was strange was how he sorta triedd to 'brag' that these Apple's 'Unified Muti-Speed' ports are somehow an INNOVATION because over in the Windows PC world, manufacturers have been building systems with separate USB 2 and USB 3 ports to bring SuperSpeed to market faster than Intel would.

The truth of the matter is, Intel and Apple had successfully STYMIED USB 3.0 adoption to a degree - in favor of getting ThunderBolt established first. So for YEARS -- manufacturers HAD to implement logic board designs with a completely SEPARATE USB 3.0 chip from, say, NEC or Texas Instruments. Apple could have shipped Mac's with USB 3.0 2+ years ago. But didn't.

With Intel's latest Ivy-Bridge chipset architecture, USB 3.0 capabilities are now rather implicitly included in the reference design. So by year's end expect ALL new models of shipping computers to have USB 3 ports as the de-facto standard.

At least hundreds if not thousands of USB 3.0 accessories are already available NOW to take advantage of the new MacBook USB 3.0 speed advantages - especially any number of USB 3 hard drives to take the pain out of TimeMachine backups or drive cloning. And the best part about USB3 gadgets? They're half or a third the price of their ThunderBolt counterparts.
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