If we're to believe older whispers from the rumor mill, Intel won't add native USB 3.0 support to its chipsets until next year. However, DigiTimes now reports that the chipmaker has a stand-alone USB 3.0 controller up its sleeve—and that device's arrival could help accelerate the transition to the new interface.
DigiTimes doesn't add much, stating only that Intel will release the stand-alone controller some time in 2010. If true, Intel will end up competing against NEC, whose USB 3.0 controllers have appeared in many recent motherboards, as well as VIA and ASMedia. According to the site's sources at motherboard makers, competition between Intel and those players will be one of the factors speeding up the transition.
Of course, USB 3.0 has already materialized in a decent quantity of motherboards. Gigabyte, for instance, has a whole lineup of USB 3.0-capable mobos at many price points, and we were able to choose them pretty much universally in our latest system guide. Asus, too, offers relatively affordable USB 3.0 mobos like the M4A7785TD-V EVO/U3S6, and MSI has jumped on the bandwagon with a $125 AMD 890GX offering.