Intel has announced that the new USB 3 standard will be released in the first half of 2008.

The revelation came from the chip-making giant at its Developer Forum, where they also announced the formation of the USB 3 Promoter Group. The new Group will count NEC, Microsoft and HP as initial members.

Although the standard will see a release to the industry next year, it will more likely be 2009 before consumers see USB 3 devices on the market.

If the thought of a new standard makes you feel a little nauseous, USB 3 rocks some cool stats that should make you look forward in delight to welcoming it into your gadget world.

USB 3 will deliver ten times then performance of 2.0 with a 4.8GB/sec transfer rate, will be optismised for low power consumption and will be backwards compatible.

"USB 3 is the next logical step for the PC's most popular wired connectivity", said Jeff Ravencraft, technology strategist with Intel.

"The digital era requires high-speed performance and reliable connectivity to move the enormous amounts of digital content now present in everyday life."