Although USB 3.0 devices are began appearing earlier this year, it’s going to be a while before support for the specification becomes ubiquitous by being “baked” into operating systems and system hardware. For example, although Apple was bragging up the new features of Mac OS X 10.7 “Lion” a couple of weeks ago, nothing was said about supporting USB 3.0; likewise, Intel doesn’t seem to be in any hurry to adopt the spec in its chipsets, preferring to wait for next year at the earliest. On the other hand, storage vendor LaCie isn’t waiting for the big boys; the company released its first USB 3.0 drives earlier this year, and on November 3, made a USB 3.0 driver available for Mac OS X. The driver works with LaCie’s USB 3.0 expansion cards, and there are two options for Apple hardware: the PCI Express Card for Mac Pro minitowers, and the ExpressCard/34 for MacBook Pro notebooks that support those cards.
Multimedia storage specialist CalDigit was the first vendor to offer USB 3.0 support for Mac hardware, having released a PCI Express card for the Mac Pro in late September.