It's official – the USB 3.0 specification has survived the murky world of development.

The news was announced at this week's SuperSpeed USB Developers' Conference.

While we won't see the new data transfer format until the second half of 2009 – and more like 2010 for ordinary consumers – the announcement that work on USB 3.0 has finished is a big step forward for the format.

Speaking about the announcement, Jeff Ravencraft, USB-IF president and chairman, said: "SuperSpeed USB is the next advancement in ubiquitous technology.

"Today's consumers are using rich media and large digital files that need to be easily and quickly transferred from PCs to devices and vice versa.

"SuperSpeed USB meets the needs of everyone from the tech-savvy executive to the average home user."

Speedy transfer

While the first gadgets that will house USB 3.0 have not been announced, it is likely to be a range of external hard drives and flash drives.

The speed of the format is immense. As we reported on TechRadar just last week, the transfer speed is around 25GB a minute.

USB 3.0 has been created in conjunction with the Hewlett-Packard Company, Intel Corporation, Microsoft Corporation, NEC Corporation, ST-NXP Wireless and Texas Instruments.