Report: Intel preps USB 3.0 controller

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.

Comments closed
    • Ushio01
    • 10 years ago

    reply fail

    • wira020
    • 10 years ago

    A stand alone controller?… is it so hard to integrate it with a chipset?.. come on.. and where the hell is that lightpeak connectors they were trying to push?

      • OneArmedScissor
      • 10 years ago

      Well, you have to design one first, I guess, and since they don’t have any new motherboards coming down the pipe until they move to entirely new CPUs, the timing makes more sense to wait.

      AMD released new PC boards to integrate SATA 6 gbps, but it wasn’t /[

        • UberGerbil
        • 10 years ago

        Yeah, they’re doing the design work anyway, they might as well release it as a standalone controller in the short term (and earn back a little of the R&D, since they potentially sell that /[

      • Ushio01
      • 10 years ago

      Actually it probably will be due to the high bandwidth requirements of both USB 3 and sata 6Gbps.

      I don’t know how it actually works, but does a USB 3 port need it’s full dedicated bandwidth even if connected to a mouse or can it be shared with other ports? because if bandwidth can’t be shared how many pci-e lanes of connectivity will a motherboard need for 12 USB 3 ports and 6 sata 6Gbps ports as well as multiple pci-e connectors and between the DMI and cpu.

        • bimmerlovere39
        • 10 years ago

        According to Wikipedia, one PCIe2.0 lane is 4 Gb/s, USB3.0 is 4.8Gb/s, and SATA is 6.0Gb/s.

        6*6.0Gb/s = 36Gb/s, so 9 PCIe Lanes

        12*4.8Gb/s = 57.6Gb/s, so 15 PCIe Lanes.

        And I’m not sure you can split them that way.

        Plus, say, four x1 slots, two x16 slots, and one x4 slot (I harbor no love for the trend of continuing to put PCI slots anywhere except the slot blocked by a dual slot cooler), so that’s another 40 lanes, 24 if the two x16 slots were x8.

        9+15+40 = 64 PCIe lanes. That’s 22GB/s of total bandwith. Hubba hubba.

        Note: Math/logic is liable to be flawed, but I figured I’d do the calculations anyway ๐Ÿ˜›

          • Farting Bob
          • 10 years ago

          9+15+40 =44?

            • bimmerlovere39
            • 10 years ago

            Fixed.

            I’d like to think it was a typo…

        • UberGerbil
        • 10 years ago

        In electronics, they’e called “buses” because they’re shared.

          • Ushio01
          • 10 years ago

          So if there shared do they have the full amount of the above bandwidth each in one big pot or a lesser amount but enough for some of the ports to reach there potential?

          For instance if 6 x sata 6Gbps ports each allow a mavimum of 600MB/s while each PCIe 2 lane allows 500MB/s you would need 7 full lanes just for sata ports or would less be available on the basis that all 6 ports would not be likely to be used at there maximum.

    • Sahrin
    • 10 years ago

    Does TR have any information about Intel’s “Light Peak” interface?

    Honestly, it sounds like they are trying to force a proprietary replacement for USB. The delay of chipset integration reinforces that.

    ยง[<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Light_Peak<]ยง

    • yogibbear
    • 10 years ago

    What’s a USB port? Man… i want a 3D USB in full BETA HD gloriness.

    In all seriousness though… i am more excited over USB 3.0 than i am over 3d movies.

      • emvath
      • 10 years ago

      3D home movies are ridiculous at this point. Did you see this weeks Bestbuy ad? You can watch Monsters vs Aliens in 3d glory for only $4,000! What a steal!

        • UberGerbil
        • 10 years ago

        But I’m glad they’re pushing 240Hz and now 3D as the new hotness, because it drives down the price of “last generation” but perfectly adequate tech in existing HD screens.

          • EsotericLord
          • 9 years ago

          Yessir, I got me a 40 inch 120 Hz Toshiba off of newegg for like $580 shipped.

          My Xbawkx looks great on it.

    • sweatshopking
    • 10 years ago

    sounds sweet. too bad my pentium 2 doesnt have usb 2.0 ๐Ÿ™

      • Sargent Duck
      • 10 years ago

      Bring back the Parallel port!
      Bring back the Serial port!

        • dermutti
        • 10 years ago

        Bring back floppy drives! Or better yet: give me that satisfying /[<*ka-CHUNK*<]/ ejection button on modern media drives!

          • Sahrin
          • 10 years ago

          heck, bring back the *real* 5.25″ Floppy – that heavy disc latch that felt like you were turning a missile key was excellent. Modern interface sucks – let’s go back to the days when you could *feel* your tech. Solid state is so boring!

            • Peffse
            • 10 years ago

            Bring back Zip disks!

          • Anonymous Coward
          • 10 years ago

          Those powered-eject Apple floppy drives where the bestest!

            • UberGerbil
            • 10 years ago

            Except when the didn’t work….

            (“Hey, anybody got a paperclip?”)

      • derFunkenstein
      • 10 years ago

      Yeah it’s too bad it didn’t come with ports from the future. ๐Ÿ˜†

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