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Nov 30 2009

New HDD Dock features USB 3.0 support

On November 19, Sharkoon introduced the USB 3.0 Quickport HDD dock, a docking station with an external USB 3.0 interface for SATA hard disk drives. A SATA hard drive inserted into the docking station can utilize the greater speed provided by USB 3.0 when connected to a SuperSpeed USB supported computer. HDD docks are utilized primarily by those in the IT industry, a useful tool for manipulating data on numerous hard drives without the burden of enclosing those drives in an enclosure or PC.

External hard drives are one of the areas that can benefit most from the increased speeds of SuperSpeed USB technology. The dock is compatible with 2.5 inch and 3.5 inch SATA HDDs. And compatible with both Windows and Mac OS X systems, the QuickPort dock connects to PCs via USB and uses a DC connection for power.

The company simultaneously launched a PCI expansion card, which allows users to upgrade their desktop PC with SuperSpeed USB technology, making it possible to utilize SuperSpeed USB peripherals. Sharkoon’s HDD dock has a retail price of around $75. The USB 3.0 host controller card contains an NEC µPD720200 chip and two SuperSpeed USB ports which can connect directly to the PCI-x1 slot on a PCs motherboard and is available for $60.

Industry firm In-Stat predicts that SuperSpeed USB technology will have a broad release by 2012, with around 70 percent of external hard drives, desktops and notebooks containing USB 3.0 ports. SuperSpeed USB compliance and certification will be critical to ensure interoperability in the USB ecosystem.