Most of the news about USB 3.0—the finalization of the spec, the first drivers, the first controller—doesn't tell us much about when we'll actually get to see a product hit stores. The answer? According to Nikkei, before 2010.
Their contacts in the Tawianese PC industry predict the first machines to include the hardware will start rolling off the line by the end of the year, citing rapid development in integrated circuits and the shipment of compliant controllers to PC manufacturers. The date is a bit earlier than the "early 2010" prediction that's been bandied around recently, and inline with initial predictions of a 2009 release.
A quick reminder of what this means:
With transfer speeds of 4.8Gbps, it'll dump a 25GB HD file in about 70 seconds, and the architecture has been beefed up with extra data lanes to make for more sustained, rather than bursty transfer speeds, making it better for camcorders and the like. Even though it delivers more power than USB 2.0 to charge gadgets faster (and it'll revive a completely dead one too), its new polling architecture makes it more efficient.