USB 3.0 is backward compatible and supports older forms of the connector technology including USB 2.0, which is already being widely used on PCs.
USB 3.0 competes with Apple and Intel's Thunderbolt connector technology, which is already available on PCs and external storage devices. Intel has said it wants to push Thunderbolt to mobile devices.
Thunderbolt is faster than USB 3.0, transferring data at 10 Gbps (bits per second). Intel and USB-IF say USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt can co-exist, and many laptops have both USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt ports. But it remains to be seen whether both Thunderbolt and USB 3.0 ports can be squeezed into the smaller smartphones and tablets.
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