Smartphones to drive USB 3.0 uptake

The move to the next generation USB 3.0 is happening at a quicker rate than expected, with smartphones pushing further adoption.

The USB market will grow by 7.4 percent up to 2015, while 3.0 devices will have a compound annual growth rate of 178 percent over the same period . Overall there were 3.5 billion USB devices shipped last year.

Growth is going to be fuelled by high speed USB format 3.0, up to ten times the speed of the current crop of USBs.

According to research director Brian O’Rourke ‘SuperSpeed’ USB will initially gain penetration in the markets requiring transfers of increasingly large pools of data.  This process is already underway in PCs, external hard drives and USB flash drives he says.

But this will gradually spread to applications such as digital cameras, portable media players and so on.  Smartphones will push growth in USBs overall, but they will also help in the adoption USB 3.0.

There are expected to be around 80 million devices shipped this year that are USB 3.0 enabled InStat reckon, and this looks set to rise as the chip industry finally makes 3.0 more widely available.

Quicker integration into logic circuits will be another large factor for the growth, with many firms finally getting it together to implement 3.0.

AMD is considered to be one of the lead adopters in its chips, while Intel has at long last confirmed it will see the technology in its Ivy Bridge next year.

This will not mean that USB 2.0 has a date with the bargain bin any time soon. Many PC peripheral applications such as mice or keyboards will continue to use lower speed interfaces that will not make the jump to 3.0 necessary.

But the price of “SuperSpeed silicon” will begin to come down to roughly the cost of currently available products over the next two to three years, both for host and device sides.