Manufacturers push for USB 3.0 adoption, Intel holds it backBy Jose Vilches 25 comments
With Computex 2010 underway, several manufacturers have taken the occasion to launch new USB 3.0 peripherals in hopes of increasing sales as the new interface slowly gains traction. Among them is Iomega, which today revamped its eGo line of portable and desktop hard drives with a total of five new drive models, including a pair equipped with SuperSpeed USB 3.0. Kingston showed off an upcoming external SSD that hooks up to the next-gen interface, while SuperTalent continued to expand its USB 3.0 flash drive lineup with the new Express RAM Cache model.
But while each of them is doing their part in helping bring this technology to mainstream ground, it seems Intel is not very interested in giving them a hand. Initially expected to hold back adoption until 2011, unconfirmed reports now claim Intel will not be packaging USB 3.0 support into its chipsets until 2012. The SuperSpeed specification was introduced in November of last year and already there are plenty of vendors shipping USB 3.0 motherboards based on NEC's controller. AMD plans to integrate this chip in its reference designs and other cheaper alternatives are on the way too.
Given that vendors like Asus, Gigabyte and ASRock are already building USB 3.0 into their products, it's hard to see why Intel would have any problems supporting the standard. Perhaps it's not so much a technical matter but rather the chipmaker pursuing its own agenda – that is, trying to make the market more receptive to Light Peak. The optical cable interface does have its advantages over USB 3.0 so we're interested to see how things play out.