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.