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Wednesday, November 14, 2007

USB 3.0 SuperSpeed

The ubiquitous Universal Serial Bus technology

Super-fast USB 3.0 technology may begin to supersede USB 2.0 in 2008. Drawing on technology developed by HP, Microsoft, NEC,

NXP, Texas Instruments, and Intel, a USB 3.0 Promoter Group hopes to deliver by mid-2008 a proposed spec for backwards-

compatible USB ten times faster than today's 480Mbps technology.

USB supports three data rates:

* A Low Speed (1.1, 2.0) rate of 1.5 Mbit/s (187 kB/s) that is mostly used for Human Interface Devices (HID) such as

keyboards, mice, and joysticks.
* A Full Speed (1.1, 2.0) rate of 12 Mbit/s (1.5 MB/s). Full Speed was the fastest rate before the USB 2.0 specification

and many devices fall back to Full Speed. Full Speed devices divide the USB bandwidth between them in a first-come first-

served basis and it is not uncommon to run out of bandwidth with several isochronous devices. All USB Hubs support Full

* A Hi-Speed (2.0) rate of 480 Mbit/s (60 MB/s).

Experimental data rate:

* A Super-Speed (3.0) rate of 4.8 Gbit/s (600 MB/s). The USB 3.0 specification will be released by Intel and its partners

in mid 2008 according to early reports from CNET news. According to Intel, bus speeds will be 10 times faster than USB 2.0

due to the inclusion of a fiber optic link that works with traditional copper connectors. Products using the 3.0

specification are likely to arrive in 2009 or 2010.

The USB 3.0 Promoters Group, which includes Intel, Microsoft, HP, TI, NEC and NXP among others, are planning to release a USB

3.0 spec in the first half of 2008. It will increase transfer speeds beyond USB 2.0's 480 Mbps by using a second fiber-optic

channel in addition to the standard copper channel.

USB 3.0 connectors and cables will be "designed to enable backward compatibility as well as future-proofing for optical

capabilities," Intel said. USB 3.0 will also preserve "existing USB device class driver infrastructure and investment, look-

and-feel, and ease-of-use," according to the company.

USB 3.0 technology is expected to appear first in discreet silicon products, rather than being integrated into PC chipsets or

SoCs (system-on-chip processors), Intel said.

Current USB 2.0 devices will be able to plug into USB 3.0 ports.

The main two goals of SuperSpeed USB are to provide a 10X boost in transfer rate (from 480-Mbits/s in USB 2.0 to 4.8 Gbits/s

in USB 3.0), while dramatically lowering power consumption. One example of their speed goals is to transfer a 27GB HD movie

to a portable device in 70 seconds. The same thing would take 15 minutes or more with HighSpeed USB (2.0). The SuperSpeed

devices will use the same connectors and the same programming and device models as existing devices.

As for the other, official features of USB 3.0, there remains quite a bit of information we don't know, and it would have

been nice for Intel to have included additional information. USB has long been criticized for relatively high CPU usage. This

has inevitably become less of an issue as CPU performance has improved, but devices capable of using USB 3.0's higher

bandwidth capabilities could make CPU usage a problem again unless the issue is addressed during spec development. Issues

like cable length, available power provided, and the number of devices per channel are all unrevealed as yet, and possibly


Since this requires fiber optic cabling, USB 3.0 will add a length of optical data cable to the mix, though USB 3.0 will

retain full compatibility with USB 2.0 (and, one assumes, USB 1.0 as well).

USB - v1.1 vs. v1.0 / Host Controller Issue

There are several hardware setup programs that warn the user, "This device requires a USB 1.1 compliant host controller."

What is USB Specification, version 1.1?

USB specification 1.1 was written to provide further clarification and additional features for USB devices and hubs. The

new specification was written to help hardware makers build better USB product. USB specification 1.1 was written for and

only effects USB peripheral devices.

Did the specification for the host controller change from version 1.0 to 1.1?

NO. The host controller portion of the USB specification is unchanged in the 1.1 revision. As part of a complete USB

specification, specification 1.1 included the UNCHANGED 1.0 USB host controller specification. There is NO difference in the

host controller specification in version 1.1.

How did all this disinformation get started?

A flaw in an early OHCI, USB host controller may be the source. The bug affected mass storage devices, printers,

scanners, and other devices that require data integrity. The OHCI flaw has been corrected by Microsoft with a work around

in Windows98 SE, v 4.10.2222a.

So what you're saying is, a 1.1 host controller is the exact same thing as a 1.0 host controller.


Please note: Windows98 First Release versions do not provide the work around for the OHCI/VHDL core bug.

For the vast majority of users, the USB Specification 1.0 vs. 1.1 controversy is a NON-ISSUE.

How to Check for High Speed USB (USB 2.0) Support

The Keyword is Enhanced

Open the Windows Control Panel, Click on System
The System Properties Windows Appears
Click on the Hardware Tab
Open the Device Manager
Click on the Universal Serial Bus Controllers Folder

If your Device Manager shows an ENHANCED USB Host Controller, the system has High Speed USB (USB 2.0) capability.

Types of High Speed USB (USB 2.0) Host Controllers


Intel Enhanced

SiS Enhanced

VIA Enhanced

ALi Enhanced

Standard Enhanced

NEC Enhanced

The system shown has onboard Intel High Speed USB (USB 2.0) with an NEC High Speed USB (USB 2.0) PCI card installed.

The key word is ENHANCED. If you have an ENHANCED USB Host Controller then you have High Speed USB (USB 2.0)

All other types are USB v.1.1

The difference between v.1.0 and v.1.1 is explained above.

If you see a yellow exclamation next to any of the USB entries, especially the USB2 Enhanced Controller, then there is a problem affecting the USB 2.0 driver on your system. To fix the problem, right click on the entry and select Properties. Click on the 'Troubleshoot' button and follow the prompts. In most cases this will help find a solution. The alternative is to right-click and select 'Update driver' while your computer is connected to the Internet.

VIA USB 2.0 Driver 2.7

Applies to:
PCs with VIA USB 2.0 controller: VT6202, VT6212, VT6202 VT6212

Windows XP SP1 or higher, Windows 2000 SP4 or higher


File Size

File Name

[Click here to Download]

The VIA USB 2.0 driver download features the latest USB 2 drivers for PCs with the VIA USB 2.0 models: VT6202, VT6212, VT6202 VT6212. It requires at least Windows XP SP1 or Windows 2000 SP4. To install the driver, unzip its contents then double click on the Setup.exe file to run the installation program. Follow the prompts and restart your computer at the end of the installation.

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