There's been a USB 3.0 port sighting, according to Register Hardware, where a reporter noticed the ports when Asus demonstrated a new 15-inch laptop, the M50.
The USB 3.0 standard will add fiber-optic links to the traditional copper wires, according to this CNET News blog post from September. That will mean the redesigned USB 3.0 will support transfer speeds of 4.7Gb/s, which is 10 times that of today's USBs.
Those speeds will come in handy for video transfers from video recorders, flash readers, external hard drives and Tom Cruise in the next installment of MI.
The Register Hardware article include pictures to demonstrate the design changes. You can find more pictures here.
Two of the M50's three USB ports were designed to fit the new USB 3.0 standard, which includes extra pins, as well as deeper connectors and receptacles.
The Register Hardware article suggests that the manufacturers are shipping two different ports as a cost-saving measure. I assume that means cost-savings for the manufacturer, since, according to CNET and other articles I've read, the USB 3.0 will be backward compatible, allowing 2.0 devices to plug into 3.0 ports.
It's still a bit early to worry about that, though, since the USB 3.0 Promoters Group -- which includes Intel, Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard, Texas Instruments, NEC and NXP Semiconductors -- haven't even issued the specifications.
The specifications are expected to be out out by the first half of this year. Even so, you can expect it will be at least a year or two before there are devices fitted with USB 3.0.
What's really funny to me is that the demo team didn't know the USB 3.0 ports were on the M50, according to the Register Hardware.