Gigabyte 100-series mobos to feature Intel USB 3.1 controller

Many of today's motherboards with USB 3.1 ports rely on controllers from companies like ASMedia to deliver that extra-speedy connectivity, but that may soon change with the advent of boards based on Intel's 100-series chipset. Gigabyte announced today that its 100-series boards will be the first to feature ports driven by Intel's upcoming "premium USB 3.1 controller."

It's unclear whether this Intel controller is the same Alpine Ridge chip behind Thunderbolt 3, but both tap into four Gen3 PCIe lanes. When driving dual ports simultaneously, the USB 3.1 controller can provide each one with up to 10Gbps of bandwidth. For comparison, the ASMedia ASM1142 controller we tested earlier this year shares 10Gbps between two USB 3.1 ports that are then bound by dual Gen2 PCIe lanes.

The Intel chip could offer a performance boost for next-generation I/O. Look for the controller on Gigabyte's 100-series motherboards whenever Skylake CPUs hit store shelves.

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