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Intel is widely expected to hold back USB 3.0 support on its own chipsets until sometime in 2011 – or even further. However, if recent mumblings are to be believed the company might still include the new interface in its next reference motherboard design. The announcement is expected at the Intel Developer Forum (IDF) 2010 later this month, according to DigiTimes, which points out that the move is expected to speed up adoption of USB 3.0 devices.
Many motherboard manufacturers already have board designs including third-party NEC host controllers, and soon Taiwan-based chipmakers ASMedia (a subsidiary of Asus), Etron, and Via are expected to enter the market with aggressively priced controller chips as well. AMD will also embrace USB 3.0 connectivity in its upcoming reference motherboard designs, thanks to collaboration with Renesas, the maker of NEC-branded chips, so Intel following with a standalone controller isn't really surprising – in fact it was rumored several months ago.
The report states that the announcement involves Intel 'Cougar Point' motherboards, which will pair Intel's 6-series chipsets with next-gen Sandy Bridge microprocessors early next year. No other specifics were mentioned or how – if at all – this would affect Intel's Light Peak plans. The high-speed optical cable interface was slated to debut this year.