Maximum PC has managed to get its hands on the new USB 3.0 cables and have posted an article showing off the connectors for the new standard.
The new USB 3.0 standard, also known as USB SuperSpeed, brings about an impressive 10x increase in bandwidth from the old USB 2.0 standard, which topped out at 480 Mbps. This makes it theoretically possible to transfer a 27GB HD movie in just 1 minute and 10 seconds, as opposed to 15 minutes with USB 3.0. Of course, speeds will be limited by other devices such as your hard drive and portable device, as well as the Mass Storage Device drivers to be provided by Microsoft for Windows. The specification is backwards compatible with older USB specifications.
The USB 3.0 A-connector is noticeably different to its USB 2.0 counterpart. The extra contacts visible on the ends of the connector are for the new data pipes included with the new specification. Two of these pipes are for sending data, while another pair is for receiving data. This bi-directional design allows data to be sent and received at the same time. The older USB specifications only allowed one-way traffic. The downside to having the extra data lanes is the cables have a larger radius than USB 2.0 cables.
In addition, the new standard provides for an increase in power output from 100mA to 900mA, allowing more power-hungry devices to be charged via a USB 3.0 cable, and increasing the number of devices that can run off a USB hub. A change in power-usage protocols has also been made to reduce power wastage on idle devices. The host controller no longer polls the device to check for data transmission. Instead, the devices sends an interrupt signal to the host indicating that it is ready to transfer data.
Intel indicated that it should be running USB 3.0 demonstrations at the Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco.