By Evan Ackerman
Remember the days before USB? Remember how miserable we all were, dealing with PS/2 and (gasp) serial ports? Pretty soon, we’ll be looking back at USB 2.0 in almost the same way. Unlike the difference between USB 1.1 and USB 2.0, USB 3.0 will incorporate some serious new hardware in the form of fiber optic lines embedded in the connector alongside the current copper wiring. Since the basic structure of the connectors will remain the same, you’ll still be able to plug your USB 2.0 devices into USB 3.0 ports. The new specification should also offer “greater efficiency” (hopefully in terms of processor usage), but I’m hoping that the fiber optics will somehow allow for USB cables over 5 meters in length. The USB 3.0 specification should be released in the first half of 2008, meaning that the first devices sporting USB 3.0 ports should start appearing in a year or two.