January 2011 Anthony Garland
There isn’t anything to be excited about a SuperSpeed USB cable, other than it’s able to carry several times more data than a USB 2.0 counterpart when linking between the device and port of the same speed. There’s however an inherent limitation with USB 3.0 cables as their length can only be as long as 3m. There would be significant signal degradation as the cable becomes longer than the limit.
Icron and Intersil joint development has broken this length barrier by combining the former’s ExtremeUSB technology and Intersil’s Q:Active signal processing. The result is a 20m USB 3.0 cable capable of powering a remote device with 150mA power. Keep in mind this isn’t exactly a cable but more like a whole extension system. While there aren’t many consumer applications that may need a 20m USB 3.0 cable, Icron and Intersil have set their sight on remote storage, thin client, digital signage, media imaging and industrial automation market.