MOBILE & WIRELESS
USB 3.0 to Reach
Tablets This Year
COURTESY OF IBM
IBM’s Watson Advises at Cancer Center
IBM’S WATSON supercomputer is about o begin evaluating cancer treatment options that can be delivered to physi- cians in a matter of seconds.
IBM and WellPoint — the Blue Cross and
Blue Shield Association’s largest health plan —
are essentially turning Watson into an adviser
for oncologists at Cedars-Sinai’s Samuel Oschin
Comprehensive Cancer Institute in Los Angeles.
Cedars-Sinai’s historical data about cancer,
as well as its current clinical records, will be
ingested into a version of Watson that will
reside at WellPoint’s headquarters in Indianapolis. The computer will act as a repository
of information about multiple types of cancer,
according to IBM’s Steve Gold, the worldwide
marketing director for Watson.
WellPoint will work with Cedars-Sinai phy-
sicians to design and develop applications that
will help doctors prescribe specific treatments
for patients. Some of the applications will
involve speech and imaging.
USB 3.0 ports will be found widely
on smartphones and tablets within
the next year or so, according to the
USB standards-setting organization.
Smartphones and tablets will
likely have a MicroUSB port based
on USB 3.0 specifications to fit the
small size of the devices, said Rahman Ismail, C TO of the USB Implementers Forum, at the Consumer
Electronics Show earlier this month.
The ports will allow faster data
transfer between mobile devices
and hosts such as PCs, some of
which already have USB 3.0 ports.
Data transfer rates will hit around
100MB/sec., or roughly 800Mbps.
Mobile devices currently use USB
2.0 technology, which is slower. The
new spec is back ward-compatible
with the older version.
A transfer that takes 15 minutes
today will take roughly 1 minute and
15 seconds with USB 3.0, according
to Ismail. But USB 3.0 isn’t nearly
as fast on mobile devices as it is
on PCs, where its performance can
reach 5Gbps. The higher speeds require more power than most mobile
devices can muster.
“It’s not the failure of USB per
se; it’s just that in tablets they are
not looking to put
the biggest, fast-
est things inside,”
However, tablets and smartphones should recharge faster via
USB 3.0 than via USB 2.0.
– AGAM SHAH,
IDG NEwS SERvICE
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