Insider: Intel hindering USB 3.0 adoption


Intel has decided to wait until 2011 before it will support USB 3.0 in PC chipsets, according to an industrial insider. Also known as SuperSpeed USB, I reported on USB 3.0 last year when it was finalized, with the specification promising a maximum bus speed of up to 4.8 Gbps.

According to this mole--from a top tier PC maker--the delay on this front will hinder the wide-spread adoption of USB 3.0, as it "won't get real traction until it gets integrated in the chip sets." 

However, the delay on the chip-set front doesn't appear to be any part of a diabolic scheme. According to this same source, the reason that Intel has put USB 3.0 on the backburner is simple: Intel's chip set teams are currently busy with other things. This includes focusing on improving Nehalem new QPI and DMI buses, working through a transition to the 5 GHz PCI Express 2.0 spec, and 6GBps Sata.

While vendors such as NEC and Fujitsu are already shipping SuperSpeed controller chips, the need for system makers to purchase discrete host controllers makes a higher cost inevitable. With this in mind, I would agree with the insider's assessment of a slower pick-up rate for USB 3.0.

Talk of delays aside, I find myself looking forward to the general availability of USB 3.0. I believe that a new wave of peripherals will be made possible by the greatly increased bus speed; and devices such as portable solid state drives will start to become practical. Let's hope that Intel will change its mind.

For more on this story:
- check out this article at
- check out this article at The Register

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