Buffalo has been releasing quite a few USB 3.0 devices, such as last month's external USB 3.0 hard drive, and the recently released USB 3.0 Blu-ray burner. The new product in Buffalo's line of devices dealing with USB 3.0 connectivity is the ExpressCard named IFC-EC2U3/UC, which will provide any computing configuration with the possibility to connect one or two USB 3.0 devices, as long as said computer has an ExpressCard slot.
The IFC-EC2U3/UC ExpressCard will allow enthusiasts to utilize their USB 3.0 flash drives, Blu-ray devices, external hard drives or solid state drives and whatever other multimedia device they have that can operate on the USB 3.0 interface. Compared with the ExpressCard 1.0 model, which can only reach a maximum speed of 2.5 Gbps, the IFC-EC2U3/UC is listed as capable of the 5Gbps theoretical peak transfer speeds, which can make full use of the read/write capabilities of USB 3.0 devices.
This card is yet another attempt of hardware manufacturers to somehow make up for the fact that Intel won't be implementing the USB 3.0 technology into its products any time soon.
The USB 3.0 is ten times faster that the currently mainstream USB 2.0 technology. The exact theoretical transfer speed attainable by this interface is of 4.8Gbps. USB 3.0 will likely become the next standard in USB technology as soon as it sees widespread adoption. The IFC-EC2U3/UC ExpressCard from Buffalo will play the role of an interface surrogate until the actual USB 3.0 technology enters true mass-production stage.
The product from Buffalo weighs a negligible 31 grams and may operate on both 34nm and 54nm card slots. The device is built with an NEC controller and the two USB 3.0 ports are backwards compatible with the USB 2.0 and USB 1.1 hardware. The device is expected to start being shipped later this month in Japan and has an estimated price tag of $60.