USB 3.0 Shines at IDF, Moblin Netbooks Likely On Tap

by Ostatic Staff - Sep. 22, 2009

This week, the Intel Developer Conference (IDF) is going on in San Francisco, and there are some interesting new technologies on display there that could have a big impact in and out of the sphere of open source. Last week, we reported that IDF would be the likely venue for the rollout of the first netbook running Moblin, the mobile Linux operating system initially launched by Intel, and now under the stewardship of The Linux Foundation. Now, there are additional reports coming in that we may see more than one. Meanwhile, USB 3.0 technology--which provides dramatic speed improvements over version 2.0--is already widely on display at the conference. Here are details.

According to a PCWorld report, high-level players at the LinuxCon conference in Portland, Oregon have foreshadowed what are very likely to be Moblin netbook announcements. PC World quotes Linux Foundation executive director Jim Zemlin:

"You're going to see this week interesting new netbooks coming out that are killer. They have the cool factor and they're priced right."

Zemlin has predicted that netbook users won't buy hardware and software anymore, and will instead get portable computers free with wireless service contracts. He feels that only Linux can support that kind of pricing model. If Moblin netbooks are imminent at attractive prices, they may have leverage as Windows 7 comes out in October. It's headed aggressively for netbooks.

UPDATE: At IDF today, the first edition of Moblin Linux for smartphones were demonstrated. They could lead to Intel chip-based smartphones.

Also, at IDF, there is a wave of announcements of USB 3.0 devices. After years in development for the technology, Symwave and MCCI are demonstrating what they're billing as "the world's highest performing USB 3.0 system," capable of over 270MB/second data transfers. Synopys is also showing very high-speed controller-based data transfers based on USB 3.0, and Point Grey Research and Fresco Logic are showing a high-performance  digital video camera capable of streaming 1080p high-definition video at 60 frames-per-second to a computer.

InStat researchers expect that USB 3.0 will have 70 percent attach rates on notebook and desktop computers by 2012. The new technology boasts data transfer speeds 10 times greater than current USB technology. That should usher in many new conveniences, and even new software applications that can take advantage of all that speed.