USB 3.5 set to arrive in early 2014 with 10Gbps transfer speeds and 10x more power
With USB 3.5 being able to supply upto 100 watts of power, it won't be long until we see external 3.5" HDDs without any mains adapters and monitors that can charge laptops.
I would also like to see laptop manufacturers standardize on USB for charging (as they have done for smartphones), although without the EU forcing the matter I don't think we will see this happen. :(
Sources: Geek.com / Tech Power Up
For the last couple of years USB 3.0 has been left in the shade by the speed offered through the Thunderbolt interface. Whereas USB 3.0 is 5Gbps, Thunderbolt doubles that to 10Gbps, and even quadruples it to 20Gbps over optical cabling.
Even though Thunderbolt has a major speed advantage, it hasnít exactly become commonplace since its introduction in 2011. And now USB is fighting back with the introduction of USB 3.5, which equals Thunderboltís standard 10Gbps transfer speeds.
The new spec is being viewed as a stop gap solution on the way to USB 4.0. Both the USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF) and Intel are thought to be working on the spec, with Taiwanís ASMedia expected to be the first company to offer a USB 3.5 host controller early next year. That should mean we see motherboards and interface cards supporting the faster standard appearing around the same time.
One of the reasons USB has remained so popular is its backwards compatibility. That will remain the case for USB 3.5, so manufacturers of devices that can take advantage of the faster transfer speeds, e.g. external hard drives, will surely embrace it quickly while retaining USB 3.0 compatibility.
Even if you wonít be making the upgrade to the 3.5 spec, USB 3.0 is also being improved upon. An updated SuperSpeed spec sees the total maximum power output of each cable increased from today's 10 watts up to 100 watts. That basically means you could power most laptops over a single USB 3.0 connection, as well as a whole host of other USB-connected devices.