The market for products supporting USB version 2.0 is expected to take off soon.
USB 2.0 is the next-generation interface specification for peripherals, which allows operation at a maximum data rate of 480Mbps, faster than the speed specified for IEEE1394 (400Mbps), while keeping compatibility with the current USB1.1. Nikkei Personal Computing has conducted tests and found that the new USB has the data transfer capability faster than IEEE1394, and is more than 40 times faster than USB1.1 (12Mbps).
With the launch of devices such as MOs and CD-RWs enabling USB 2.0, this standard is about to come into practical use. However, there is no denying that USB 2.0 has yet to gain a proven advantage over IEEE1394, because it requires preparing the interface on a PC (such as with a PCI board or a PC card), in addition to implementing the operating system as a standard feature. It also adds cost to devices equipped with USB 2.0.
Those companies that sell USB interface-related devices share a common understanding that whether the USB 2.0 makes a full-fledged take-off will depend on the deployment of PCs equipped with the corresponding port, and its implementation in operating systems. Regarding Microsoft Corp.’s Windows OS, the company revealed its intention at the conference for developers was held by USB Implementers Forum Inc. (USB-IF) in May 2001. “It is too late to implement USB 2.0 in the new OS Windows XP, but we will support USB 2.0 when issuing a Windows Update.” The company plans to distribute related driver software in the future for users of Windows ME/2000.