Intel to launch standalone USB 3.0 controller this year?

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Although dozens of SuperSpeed USB-equipped products have already stormed out of the gates, the interface's adoption rate has been partially restricted by a lack of native support from Intel. Rumors stretching back to last year suggested that the company wouldn't build chipsets with integrated USB 3.0 support until 2011 or later -- but what about a standalone controller? Industry sources cited by DigiTimes say that the chipmaker plans to launch precisely that, and it should arrive this year.

NEC has been the primary supplier of USB 3.0 controllers, having started volume shipments last September, while companies like VIA and ASMedia have recently joined the market. With Intel entering the picture, USB 3.0 driver ICs should fall in price and the transition should speed up, according to the sources.

Of the 60-plus devices currently outfitted with the latest USB spec, many of them are motherboards, and they're selling pretty well. For instance, Gigabyte has reportedly shipped one million mainboards with USB 3.0, accounting for a third of NEC's controller sales. Have you purchased any SuperSpeed USB-enabled hardware yet?

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