USB 3.0 Allows Stone-Dead Devices To Be Recharged

Most of the discussion to date of the forthcoming USB 3.0 standard has centred around its much higher speeds. As the USB Forum itself likes to point out, a 25GB HD movie file could be copied in 70 seconds with USB 3.0 (versus an estimated 14 minutes on the current USB 2.0 standard). However, there's another feature that's potentially equally useful, especially for travellers: USB 3.0 overcomes the current USB limitation on recharging devices that are completely out of power. While USB charging via a notebook can be incredibly useful, it generally won't work if the device has gone completely flat — at that point, you need it to be plugged straight into a wall socket until it's got enough charge for your PC to recognise it when you connect it. As Jeff Ravencraft of the USB Forum explained at last week's Storage Visions conference in Las Vegas, that's no longer the case: "We now supply power to the device if you have a completely dead battery." USB 3.0 isn't expected to be widespread until next year (and isn't supported in the current build of Windows 7), but it's still something to look forward to.


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