At PC Expo, Orange Micro announced it’s developing a PCI interface card and a hub that support USB 2.0. The company hopes to display a prototype at Macworld Expo, New York.

USB 2.0 supports a maximum throughput of 480Mbps (Megabits per second), compared to FireWire’s current maximum of 400Mbps, and USB 1.1’s current specification of 12Mbps. FireWire will hit 800Mbps by early 2001.

Free Developers don’t have to pay a royalty-licensing fee for the use of USB 2.0. Developers of FireWire products pay 25 cents per unit to a consortium of FireWire patent holders, including Apple.

Orange Micro is creating its own drivers for its USB 2.0 for the Mac products.