Intel: Mainstream USB 3.0 adoption is years away

By on March 9, 2010, 6:44 PM
While the USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF) may have certified over 50 USB 3.0 products, Intel believes it will be a couple of years before the new standard replaces its predecessor. At CeBIT, the chipmaker revealed that it is working with Microsoft on USB 3.0 integration for Windows 8, which is expected to ship in 2012. Until then, Intel believes SuperSpeed USB support will only appear in high-end machines.

Intel's plans line up with a study released by In-Stat last year. The firm said USB 3.0 would see widespread adoption by 2012, at which point 70% of external hard drives would use the new spec and around 200 million USB 3.0 flash drives would ship by 2013.

Without integrated support from Intel, hardware manufacturers will have to continue purchasing USB 3.0 host controller chips from NEC, or produce their own. Although Windows 8 is still years away, rumors suggest Windows 7 SP1 will bring native support. If true, OEMs might warm up to the technology, which could boost adoption rates.

User Comments: 61

Got something to say? Post a comment
Fly_Guy said:

awww man thats such a shame that it wont be adopted into mainstream until 2012 the worlds gonna end that year :[

raie_noire said:

Whaaaaaaaaaaaaat?! are you for serious? I was looking forward to some super fast transfers... god i'm a dork..

yorro said:

fly_guy said:

awww man thats such a shame that it wont be adopted into mainstream until 2012 the worlds gonna end that year :[

They just mentioned the date for widespread use, not the release of USB 3.0 products. Although you'd be having trouble with other USB versions, but not your own if you completely convert.

flukeh said:

New technology like this always takes ages to get into mainstream because the majority of people are happy with USB 2.0. I know i wouldn't pay a premium for something that would only boost transfer speed.

gwailo247, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

flukeh said: I know i wouldn't pay a premium for something that would only boost transfer speed.

Yeah, that's really the case here. I can't imagine anything that I use via USB that I would pay extra money for a faster transfer speed.

Renegeek said:

Hay everyone, there are PCI cards that will have usb 3.0, its all good, but it is a bummer that intel is takeing a long time with it.

Tekkaraiden Tekkaraiden said:

Isn't Intel developing their own highspeed connection?

flukeh said:

Tekkaraiden said:

Isn't Intel developing their own highspeed connection?

yes they are, i think what you are referring to is lightpeak. From what i've heard it looks really good. A universal 10GBps starting speed with higher potentials would make all other connections obsolete at this point in time.

ZTecWiz said:

i highly doubt that the world will end in 2012.. but i guess everyone has their opinions on that! haha

ZTecWiz said:

I can't wait for USB3.0.. It's going to be huge.

Timonius Timonius said:

fly_guy said:

awww man thats such a shame that it wont be adopted into mainstream until 2012 the worlds gonna end that year :[

Windows 8 in 2012... that IS the end of the world.

But seriously, i just don't understand why everyone is taking so long to adopt usb 3.0 in a mainstream kind of way. It is a very much needed upgrade to whole way we do personal computing. Along with waiting for 3.0 adoption I just can't wait for the next generation of mp3 players to adopt 3.0 as well. Imagine the transfer speeds...

spin26 said:

Intel is trying to dictate what type of connecton and when it will implement, by 2012 lightpeak might be here to be the new preferred connection and intel will add superspeed for legacy porposes..

Vrmithrax Vrmithrax, TechSpot Paladin, said:

If Intel would cave and integrate some support for the standard, adoption would be much more widespread. But hey, can't support the competition to their own new interface, now can they? I mean, it's not like USB is an industry standard that is put through committees and tweaked until there is an industry-wide consensus for easy adoptio.... heeeeey, wait a minute!

EduardsN said:

Windows 8 coming so soon, does anyone know what the new OS will be like? I hope not another vista..

rufio said:

I wonder how fast usb 3 will be?

zyodei said:

Hahaha..I wonder how many people will be forced to purchase yet another upgrade from Microsoft, just because they want this one solitary feature?

Linux users will be sitting happy

On another note, the first 3rd party that could somehow produce an XP/Vista/7 USB3 solution would be rolling in gravy...

jacob007 said:

Technology moves very fast, it's very hard to keep the same pace between business practice and tech evoolution.

This is where monopolys hurt, if there were more chipmakers, at least one of them would adopt new standards early.

shengnan said:

Oh, I've been waiting for so long time. Windows 8? 2012? oh...

pipopaz said:

It seems to me like Intel lacks the motivation to implement them, don't you guys think?

Recipe7 Recipe7 said:

New technology always takes time to be mainstream, but those who want to take part in the new 3.0 will be able to do so by summer time this year. I know I'll be picking up a new flash drive once they are out.

bijuthomas73 said:

thats a good news but could some one update me of the advantage of 3.0 to 2.0 ?

rskapadia2294 said:

aww! it means we have to wait for 4 years! and btw world gonna end on 2012!lol

so it doesnt matter if they release or don't!

on the serious note - i think they should launch it asap so that tech savvy people ( like me) can enjoy its features!

ansarimikail said:

Talk about usb 3.0 has been going on for so long, and still nothing to show for it. Seems like vapourware talk up to now.

Flannelwarrior said:

USB 3.0 is available currently, both onboard and through PCI adapters, so no need to dispair. For people seeking the fastest builds, it's already an option. As prices continue to drop it'll work its way into mainstream.

elroacho72 said:

I can't help but think it would be a little faster than three years. It seems more like next year everybody is ready, I know I am!

Matthew Matthew, TechSpot Staff, said:

thats a good news but could some one update me of the advantage of 3.0 to 2.0 ?


alexandrionel said:

Intel said the same thing about x64 processors and also about some other technologies i cant remember now. I think Intel tries to delay progress as much as possible to milk as much as possible their cash cows and invest as little as possible in Research & Development.

LGraves said:

Are the old USB adapters able to plug into a 3.0?

jasonk1229 said:

I actually expected it to come sooner

CMH, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

I doubt it will take a whole 2 years and more to actually have USB3 take hold.

Digital media and portable HDDs are such bandwidth hogs, and are used widely by the general public, and USB3 will greatly boost the performance of these items. I can see how most companies producing these products quickly releasing USB3 versions of their products, even if it is just for advertising sake.

And if they do produce them, it makes sense for computer makers to offer USB3 ports with their computers (of course, this would involve motherboards). As it is, motherboard makers, and some other add-on card makers have been known to include pretty useless crap with their products, so why not USB3, which would actually be of use? (sound cards with firewire and gameport anyone?)

fref said:

Did Intel consider that not releasing a chipset that supports the standard makes it kind of hard to have mainstream adaption? It's easy to be right about your predictions when you won't lift a finger to make things happen sooner.

JMMD JMMD, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

For now I'm using eSATA which is plenty fast for me. My next PC may have USB 3.0 in which case I would get a hard drive to support it for backups but USB and eSATA are plenty fast for what I need.

waterytowers said:

USB 3.0 will be taking hold by end of year IMHO (for desktop users) for the early adopters there are already USB 3.0 products on the way that can plug into your desktop, unfortunately it will be laptops that are not supported until later. I wanted to buy a new laptop this year but looks like I may have to delay another year until USB 3.0 ports are included. I copy alot of files, mostly photos, from usb and have to wait up to 1 hour to copy off the flash card. A usb 3.0 card reader should perform much faster

klpowell said:

Intel and other motherboard manufactors are to blame for the slow uptake in USB3.0 Device designers are not going to start producing, widescale, USB 3.0 products until there is a market for them. This is simliar to the HD Radio flop here in the US Sure alot of radio stations have HD signals, but the uptake has been low because the products is just not widely availble to the general consumer.

tripplejjj said:

I am not going to wait for Intel to adopt the USB 3.0. A USB 3.0 add-in card is out and pretty affordable especially when I have no intention of upgrading my motherboard within the next five years.

compdata compdata, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Makes sense as there are few products at the moment that really need to take advantage of the extra speed. External drives are definitely one of them though. While it may not have full adoption, that doesn't mean device manufacturers and OEMs won't be providing devices that can utilize it. It just means the average person won't care.

slh28 slh28, TechSpot Paladin, said:

There are some USB 3.0 mobos out already from Gigabyte and Asus - and they only cost about 10% more than regular ones. Anyone thinking of building a new PC should be moving to USB 3.0 now.

rajmond said:

Now there are billions of devices that have USB 2.0, and of course that it will take a long time to replace all those, to USB 3.0.

zaidpirwani said:

I can wait till that long.....

Docnoq said:

ZTecWiz said:

I can't wait for USB3.0.. It's going to be huge.

USB 3.0 has been out for quite awhile now.. if you really can't wait you should go buy some hardware that supports it :-P

I would love to have USB 3.0 for my flash drive and mp3 player.. it would be killer to be able to fill them up in a minute or two instead of the typical hour. But then again, I really don't transfer 16gb of data at a single time on a regular basis.. so just like SSDs I guess I can wait for the price to settle

megrawab said:

goodnews. this must be released soon if the world has to end by 2012

Tizzlejack Tizzlejack said:

Why would it take so long? It's backwards compatible plus they're already putting it on current motherboards.

Vrmithrax Vrmithrax, TechSpot Paladin, said:

megrawab said:

goodnews. this must be released soon if the world has to end by 2012

But, what if USB 3.0 is what CAUSES the world to end in 2012??? Something to ponder

cocodel said:

Hardware manufactures always find ways to empty buyers pockets.Wait to see the real use of USB 3.0

z71kris said:

why wait lets get it done now, oh wait that wont draw attention, and what not, and they they could sell other stuff in the mean time...

LightHeart said:


Intel is working on lightspeak, though that will take awhile. In the mean time they FUD USB 3.0. Makes you want to buy more AMD.

supyo said:

years away? wtf

DryIce said:

The question is do average users really need USB 3.0? If they don't, and if USB 2.0 is cheaper, their will, of course, be a slower adoption of USB 3.0.

AfricanTech said:

what about usb 3.1 - apparently it makes it even faster - personally i think intel is underestimating the market...

Puiu Puiu said:

By the end of the year USB3.0 will be a lot cheaper and people will start buying products that use it. In 2011 it will become mainstream if manufacturers really a good amount of products on the market. In this flooding the market with products will bring the prices down and it greatly increase the speed at which USB 3.0 will be adopted.

Load all comments...

Add New Comment

TechSpot Members
Login or sign up for free,
it takes about 30 seconds.
You may also...
Get complete access to the TechSpot community. Join thousands of technology enthusiasts that contribute and share knowledge in our forum. Get a private inbox, upload your own photo gallery and more.