Intel Hedges On USB 3, Plans To Integrate Feature in 2012

USB 3.0 has been a popular feature ever since its introduction ~12 months ago, but a recent disclosure from Intel could slow the standard's march towards ubiquity. According to information released at IDF, Intel won't introduce a USB 3-powered chipset until 2012. This doesn't bode well for anyone hoping to buy an Intel platform that supports much in the way of upgrades. We already know existing Nehalem CPUs and motherboards won't support Sandy Bridge; it's possible Intel won't introduce native USB 3.0 support until Ivy Bridge. That transition shouldn't require new motherboards/sockets—Most Core 2 motherboards that supported Conroe also supported Penryn—but Intel has a history of changing motherboard sockets/compatibility at the drop of a hat.

The lasers make it faster.

It's always been odd that Intel, who designed the reference controller for USB 3, has been so slow to incorporate it. The current theory is that Intel has pushed back USB 3 integration in favor of its own Light Peak standard. Light Peak could potentially serve as the long-awaited universal connection standard that's capable of handling everything from Internet to HD audio/video to driving additional monitors simultaneously, but it'll take time to get device support rolling. If Intel backs USB 3 simultaneously, there's always a chance that Light Peak would be shoved out of the market before ever having a chance to prove itself.

Whatever Intel's reasoning, enthusiasts should be little affected. NEC's dual-port USB 3 chip has become a staple on a full range of Core 2 Duo/LGA1156/LGA1366 motherboards, while Asrock has already released an X58 motherboard with four USB 3.0 ports. By this time next year, it'll be hard to find a midrange Intel or AMD board that doesn't offer at least two USB 3 ports. Intel's decision not to ship USB 3 support in 2011 will slow adoption, but the fact that motherboard OEMs have already pushed the feature into sub-$100 boards means they view it as an important technology consumers want to buy. 
realneil 4 years ago

They've had light peak for a long time, why haven't they churned it out yet? The speeds quoted long ago for Light Peak were significant, and would have been a game changer.

Intel not supporting USB 3 isn't going to make many of us restless at night.

hitech 4 years ago

That is great technology. Any more article about it?


AKwyn 4 years ago

2012? All for the promotion of LightPeak technology?

The only reason why we don't have alot of USB 3.0 and SATA 6 GB/S ports on our motherboards is because Intel is focused on their own standards.


realneil 4 years ago

[quote user="TaylorKarras"] The only reason why we don't have alot of USB 3.0 and SATA 6 GB/S ports on our motherboards is because Intel is focused on their own standards.      Pity. [/quote]  I agree with you,...

I think that maybe Intel's suffering from the same thing that plagues Microsoft, "Market Share Blind Arrogance" in which they believe that because they have most of the market share, they can call all of the shots when it comes to product advancement and development. You'll notice that Taiwan manufacturing ignored their wishes and have happily provided us with many options and products that are USB-3 and SATA-6 enabled. (because WE wanted it and the component/motherboard market is so darn competitive, they listen to their consumers)

Also, LightPeak if it had been delivered long ago, right after it was announced would have been fantastic. It held the promise of true high speed date transfers and consolidation of data transfer technologies. But it appears to be a technical "wet noodle" if they can't bring it to market.

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