Next generation audio interfaces

In doing some reading lately for a new computer this fall or winter, I discovered this debate on SATA versus FIREWIRE and USB. The list below show speeds of common connective methods and my MOTU 896 is running firewire. Is someone aware of any audio interfaces that may incorporate these higher rated speeds in the near future.

I am trying to keep a step ahead of monster changes to control costs. My 896HD is now near 7 yrs old and has been reasonable once MOTU had some decent drivers. If a change like 4 channel memory and native USB 3.0 are on the next horizon of standards, can an audio interface be too far behind ?

USB 1.1 – 15 Mbps
FireWire (1394a) – 400 Mbps
USB 2.0 – 480 Mbps
FireWire 800 (1394b) – 800 Mpbs
SATA 1.5 – 1.5 Gbps
SATA 3.0 – 3.0 Gbps

Planning ahead in this industry gave give you quite the headache! I am interested to see how Apple and Intel’s new Thunderbolt technology takes off.

Mac pushed firewire and it really took off in the media world so this might become popular in time. I think likely the big advantage we will see with USB 3 or Thunderbolt is how many tracks you can record at once. Latency should be more effected by faster processors. Firewire has plenty of bandwidth for most users so I would not be too concerned with what is around the corner. Not to mention it could take several years for USB3 or Thunderbolt to really take off, assuming they do at all. I imagine something like Firewire, which has been active for a good decade, is not going away anytime soon regardless.

Also, just a note those speeds you posted can be misleading. For example, USB2’s rating of 480 is its peak speed not its average. The averaged USB speed is actually slower than Firewire’s rating of 400 which is more of a constant value due to the nature of firewire.