Intel may not add USB 3.0 to chipsets until 2011

Today, adding USB 3.0 support to a motherboard involves buying a third-party controller. And things may stay that way for the next year and a half or so. According to EE Times, Intel has postponed the implementation of USB 3.0 in its own chipsets until 2011.

Quoting two anonymous sources, including "a senior technology manager at a top tier PC maker," EE Times says Intel initially planned to start sampling USB 3.0-capable chipsets in "early 2010." However, the chipmaker purportedly pushed back those plans by a year. Intel hasn’t yet confirmed the postponement officially, though; a representative told EE Times he hadn’t heard of a delay.

If the rumors check out, the delay could slow down USB 3.0 adoption considerably. The same PC technology manager expects USB 3.0 "won’t get real traction" until Intel adds support to its chipsets, since otherwise, hardware makers will find themselves in a chicken-and-egg scenario. Motherboard makers may not add third-party USB 3.0 controllers if few devices support the technology, and similarly, device makers may hold off on releasing USB 3.0 products until PC support becomes widespread.

Comments closed
    • mutarasector
    • 13 years ago

    I was thinking the same thing about Light Peak. Of course, what I can’t help but also wonder is if what AMD and others were complaining about earlier this year was true after alll — Intel dragging it’s feet on USB 3.0.

    • Kurotetsu
    • 13 years ago

    Also, if I recall correctly, Light Peak was initiated by Apple calling Intel and asking for a universal interface that could run any number of protocols over a single cable, specifically to be used with an iPhone (or was it an iPod?). So yeah, this was targeted for consumer products right from the beginning.

    • End User
    • 13 years ago
    • MadManOriginal
    • 13 years ago

    You’re thinking too much inside the box if all you see it as is a storage interface.

    • Krogoth
    • 13 years ago

    Because, there is hardly any mainstream peripherals that need that kind of bandwidth. USB 2.0 works fine enough for most devices. It is only external storage devices that push USB 2.0 to its limit. That is where USB 3.0 comes in.

    The only environment where you would need to deal with Gbps of bandwidth on external connections are backbone networking, SANs, computing clusters and supercomputers.

    • LedCop
    • 13 years ago

    Errr, you’re kidding, right?

    You are aware that Intel demoed this technology on what was essentially a Mac Pro’s guts, aren’t you? That and the demo consisted of everyday uses.

    • Krogoth
    • 13 years ago

    I doubt it.

    Lightpeak is still years away from hitting desktops. I would expect it to first hit supercomputers and computing clusters.

    • Krogoth
    • 13 years ago

    Intel’s IGPs are more than adequate for non-gaming functions.

    I would think gamers that care about performance would get a discrete solution of some sort.

    • Bauxite
    • 13 years ago

    It does fit, I have pictures somewhere of not a small number of forced ports and plugs from a poor bastard who kept a collection.

    Thankfully, I’ve never had to do IT support/helpdesk 🙂

    • Bauxite
    • 13 years ago

    I want usb to “die” because its not really ideal for higher performance/lower latency use.

    Sure its fine for mice, keyboards, flash readers, $1 desk fans with blinking leds that cost 5c to make in china etc etc…but I cringe when I have to use hard drives, network cards and such on a stupid usb port.
    (sigh @ expresscard/pcie minicard having it ‘built in’, as if the starting latency on WWAN wasn’t annoying enough already)

    Whats wrong with leaving a low end utility bus around for those and having a good common higher performance bus as well? ffs

    One size does not fit all; faster, better, cheaper pick any 2; don’t put all your eggs in one basket, I could go on and on and on 😉

    • nookie
    • 13 years ago

    LOL me too. Almost too good to be true.

    • Richie_G
    • 13 years ago

    Well since you put it like that, I’m sold!

    • Kurotetsu
    • 13 years ago

    Light Peak is looking mighty interesting. 10Gbit/s for up to 100 meters is pretty badass. That’s more bandwidth than dual-link DVI and DisplayPort and about equal with HDMI 1.4. 100Gbit/s Light Peak blows them both away by miles. On top of that, its capable of carrying any protocol; USB, Firewire, SATA, HDMI, DVI, they can all be carried, simultaneously, over Light Peak. It could even make external PCI-Express a reality (100Gbit/s = 12.5GB/s I think? That’s more bandwidth than PCI-E x16 2.0 provides, and is almost equal with PCI-E x16 3.0).

    • Saribro
    • 13 years ago

    Wikipedia says 80% more power.

    q[

    • End User
    • 13 years ago

    Perhaps Intel is delaying USB 3.0 to give Light Peak a chance.

    §[<http://techresearch.intel.com/articles/None/1813.htm<]§

    • wira020
    • 13 years ago

    i read sumwhere ( my memory is seriously failing me ) that its is 3 times more power and faster.. it is advertised by gigabyte new P55A type mobos i think… and they actually cranked up 2 of the USB2.0 to more power… for some reason i forgot…

    anyway they’re making data goes both ways.. so its a nice advancements.. and yes, it would be a whole lot nicer if everything doesnt need separate power… would greatly reduce clutters…

    • mesyn191
    • 13 years ago

    It can supply more power than USB2.0, but not huge amounts more. You’re still gonna need power cables and stuff to power many things on USB3.0.

    One of the big things they screwed up on IMO. Having 1 combined data/power cable for most (not ALL things) things would be soo much nicer.

    • wira020
    • 13 years ago

    lol.. thats what its called.. i almost gone crazy from trying to remembering the tech name.. fiber optic cable… thx… 🙂

    • UberGerbil
    • 13 years ago

    That was Apple pushing Intel as much as anything. I think they want an exclusive, so they can claim they compute with light or they’re “fiber optic fast” or something equally goofy.

    • MadManOriginal
    • 13 years ago

    This is one of the guys who is sore about Intel IGPs and therefore calls the chipsets altogether ‘crap’ not realizing that there’s more to a chipset than the IGP portion. Don’t bother Kroger.

    • Krogoth
    • 13 years ago

    Ahem, no.

    Intel chipsets have usually been the best in terms of performance, stability and features.

    AMD/ATI have been catching up, but AHCI related issues still remain.

    S3 is no-frills, but workable underdog.

    If you think Intel was bad with “business” decisions in its chipset division? Nvidia was far worse. SLI issues, semi-working or broken extra features, dropping Vista/7 support on platforms that are capable of handling the OS etc.

    • MadManOriginal
    • 13 years ago

    There’s not much of a need to flame idiotic statments.

    • wira020
    • 13 years ago

    Doesnt the new USB3.0 also supports more wattage or sumthing.. which could means less wires for removable storage or gadget.. able to power-up gadget faster… using 3.5″ removable hard disk without plugging to power ( some people use that).. or esata can feed power from USB3.0… its not just bandwidht.. so i think it could really benefit us more…

    • wira020
    • 13 years ago

    Well.. a little bird told me that Intel wanted to throw USB3.0 away to make room for Light Peak technology… or was it LightPeak?… it involves using clear wires that can transmit lights… Intel developed that technology and it is in the middle of licensing or sumthing… so they would profit more that way i guess…

    I’m guessing that it would be the next Firewire…

    • FuturePastNow
    • 13 years ago

    PCI Express is for more than graphics cards. Now you can use those x4 slots for something.

    • UberGerbil
    • 13 years ago

    Somehow this must involve a Kardashian.

    • UberGerbil
    • 13 years ago

    They don’t license the spec from Intel, they license it from the USB Implementer’s Forum. Intel propaganda to the contrary, they were not sole inventors of USB. They have some of the patents, but so do various other companies and AFAIK the USB-IF can grant licensees use of all the necessary IP to produce USB devices. The USB-IF is headquartered in Beaverton under the watchful eye of Intel, and the chairman is an Intel employee, but the board includes representatives of various other companies and the USB-IF does function at arm’s length from Intel. Third parties can and do produce USB 2.0 controller logic (either as discrete parts or as libraries incorporated in other chips, such as southbridges) and I wouldn’t expect that to change with 3.0

    §[<http://www.usb.org/home<]§

    • OneArmedScissor
    • 13 years ago

    Thank you.

    Congratulations designerfx! You have different needs than the average computer user.

    And eSATA and firewire met those needs long ago, which costs you as low as $6 to add them, in the horribly unlikely event you don’t have them already.

    Complaining about not having USB 3.0 is like complaining about not having a dodecahedron-core desktop CPU. Maybe such a thing will exist someday, but we don’t even know what we’d use it for yet. So until that day comes, it just won’t exist.

    External SSDs replacing the average external HDD, or run-of-the-mill USB 3.0 thumb drives with speeds in excess of 150MB/s? Maybe we’ll have such things by 2011, but definitely not sooner. That’s really only a year away.

    • Kurotetsu
    • 13 years ago

    +1

    • Kurotetsu
    • 13 years ago

    Ignore.

    • bthylafh
    • 13 years ago

    Very courageous of you to take an anonymous Internet stand, consequences be damned.

    • ew
    • 13 years ago

    USB 2 can easily handle 22m(bytes or bits)ps.

    • Kurotetsu
    • 13 years ago

    In which case, you can get an add-on card for a few dollars. Which was OneArmedScissor’s point.

    • designerfx
    • 13 years ago

    freakin please. I’d like to have bandwidth enough to allow things such as faster file transfers and higher quality streaming via usb. I mean do you really think 22mbps usb2 devices can handle 1080P?

    • ew
    • 13 years ago

    Agreed. I feel no need for USB 3.0.

    • AlvinTheNerd
    • 13 years ago

    ASUS as well as a few others are already making motherboards with USB 3.0 on them. (P55 Premium) So this points to that being false.

    Further, Intel’s decision seems to be a business one, not a technilogical one. Intel’s bosses decided that they aren’t going to use more silicon on their chipsets for this technology. But as long as other companies pay for the patents to make third party silicon, I am sure Intel is happy to take the royalties.

    It also might mean that AMD will go ahead and put USB3.0 into their chipsets which would be nice. AMD’s chipsets are the best for price in everything except for I/O and this moves them into the right direction.

    • jdaven
    • 13 years ago

    Again, I’ll say it even though I will get flamed. Intel chipsets suck! And they suck mainly due to business decisions instead of technological decisions.

    • dpaus
    • 13 years ago

    Yeah. Are you suggesting the delay is due to a Hollywood-style prima donna snit? Does anyone know? Where /[

    • khands
    • 13 years ago

    Doesn’t one of Intel’s “Our celebrities aren’t like your celebrities” (or whatever) ads feature a USB co-inventor?

    • WillBach
    • 13 years ago

    It is my (potentially mistaken) understanding that companies licensing the USB 3.0 specification from Intel are not allowed to release chipsets with integrated USB 3.0 until after Intel does so. Can anyone else confirm or disprove this for me? Thanks.

    • dpaus
    • 13 years ago

    Isn’t the spec backwards compatible anyway? i.e., if you plug a USB 2.0 device into a USB 1.0 port, it’ll still work, but at the slower speed. If that’s the case, I doubt manufacturers of USB 3.0 devices would hold back for very long, as they’d be keen to grab bragging rights if not actual large-volume sales.

    • OneArmedScissor
    • 13 years ago

    Intel isn’t putting the controllers in their chipsets. They’ll still have USB 2.0 built in, meaning you’re paying extra, and undoutedbly for a “higher end” model, to have an additional controller chip slapped on by the motherboard manufacturer.

    • OneArmedScissor
    • 13 years ago

    That seems to be taking off with laptops, and now that Windows 7 is out, companies are updating their entire lines.

    150MB/s is plenty for the average external drive as it is, and that’s not going to change before 2011, anyways.

    I kind of want USB to go away. There is a special place in hell for whoever designed the connector so that it looks like it could fit either way, and almost does.

    • designerfx
    • 13 years ago

    how does this tie up to the previous article about usb3? seems odd to me.

    • stdRaichu
    • 13 years ago

    Hopefully this’ll leave time for the eSATA folks to get their house in order and start producing a standardised powered socket. Dog knows that if people dump eSATA and pick USB3 instead I’ll lose all hope for humanity.

    • OneArmedScissor
    • 13 years ago

    Meh, that’s about as important as having integrated firewire support. If you have a use for it, you can add it yourself for a few dollars. The average person isn’t going to get anything out of it.

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