The Universal Serial Bus (USB) 3.0 specification is a new industry-standard peripheral connection technology, developed by USB Implementers Forum, for connecting peripherals to PCs and laptops. The USB 3.0 specification draws from the same architecture of the wired USB specification and therefore is a backward-compatible standard with the same ease-of-use and plug and play capabilities of previous USB technologies, but with a 10X performance increase and lower power consumption. The USB 3.0 specification uses two additional high-speed differential pairs for SuperSpeed mode, which boosts its bandwidth to 5 GB/s.

The scope of this paper is to clearly explain some of the key differences between the new USB 3.0 specification and earlier USB generations. Additionally, this article identifies the main similarities between USB 3.0 and PCI Express (PCIe).