USB 3 Technology arrives
The new USB 3 standard will provide awesome performance for new devices by using a special adapter. The USB 3 interface has the USB 2 adapter fit plus 5 more contact pins that provide the high speed transfer rates.
USB 3 - First Hard Drives Arrive
QUOTE: When you're in front of your PC, waiting for something to transfer to removable media, seconds can feel like minutes, and minutes like hours. And backups to USB 2.0 appear to crawl along at a snail's pace--so much so that users often become reluctant to perform that essential chore.
Such data-transfer scenarios are where the new SuperSpeed USB 3.0 standard and its theoretical, blazing-fast throughput of 5 gigabits per second--as promised by the USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF)--will change your life for the better. And if our tests of four new USB 3.0 hard drives from Buffalo Technology, Iomega, Seagate, and Western Digital are indicative, the change will be dramatic.
As such, the USB 3.0 connector has design changes to accommodate the extra data lines. If you examine the inside of a type A USB 3.0 port with its familiar rectangular shape closely, you'll see that it shares the same size as a USB 2.0 port as well as the original four USB 1.1/2.0 contacts. However, the port also has an additional five smaller contacts for the new USB 3.0 lines. When you plug in a 2.0 connector, it uses the four original contacts; when you plug in a USB 3.0 connector, it taps into the other five.