back to article Intel delays USB 3.0 chipset until 2012

Intel is holding up USB 3.0 adoption by delaying its motherboard chipset until 2012. The near-universally used USB 2.0 bus is lagging behind externally-attached storage devices, mobile internet devices, digital cameras and camcorders and the simple multi-GB USB sticks because it is too slow. USB 3.0 increases USB speed to 4. …


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  1. Anonymous Coward

    Get on the bus Gus.

    No need to be coy Roy... Get a new plan Stan.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Pretty obvious.


      1: Would v likely benefit from slowing mass adoption of USB3. They hope to sell more lightpeak thanks to people clamouring for higher speed as they have not been able to get USB3 - thanks to Intel. They must think they will benefit or they would not delay!

      2: Intel could conceivably undermine the investments of competitors by delaying mass adoption of USB3. If Gigabyte etc have spent a lot getting USB3 here now (doubtless partly in order to avoid Intel getting a march on them), but no gadget makers with intel contracts can make USB3 compatible gadgets, then that investment was not as worthwhile as it might have been if a load of USB3 gadgets were in the pipe driving demand for USB3 capable machines for said gadgets to interface with.

      Obviously there is an issue with one company dominating the market for boards for machines AND gadgets. In this case, that situation gives Intel a 'lock' on the market that looks v bad for competitors, consumers and progress.

      Obviously, we can all have USB3 right away via expansion cards. It might only be useful for external drives for a while. But, that is a pretty good application in its own right. Obviously ports are backwards compatible so anyone wanting more USB ports should be getting USB3 anyway.

      I expect that when USB3 doesn come out from Intel, they will be screaming about how THEY brought it to the world! HA f'ing HA! It may be closer to the truth that they cynically kept it from the world for years.

      This is a prime example of shareholders SLOWING progress. Maximise returns and hurt competitors with delays to progress. This sort of thing should be investigated by all anti-trust bodies as clearly the issue is v much in the global public interest.

      NB, Intel has never been accused of anticompetitive practices have they????!!!!! LOL!

      Anyone care to list?...

      Issues exactly like this are why many people try to support competitors whenever possible.

  2. Paolo Marini

    what a shame

    it could be really useful for those working on large sets of photos and/or home video... should we consider again the still speedy eSata (external Sata)?

  3. Nader

    Why don't they put the Intel in Intelligence?

    Because this USB 3.0 delay by Intel is not very smart!

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Then other chipset manufactures should take the lead

    ATI, NEC, SiS etc.

  5. The Unexpected Bill

    You don't just have to sit and wait...

    Firewire 400/1394A is here today and has a bit of a speed advantage over USB 2.0. If you need to go faster, Firewire 800/1394B is also here. Firewire interfaces with signaling rates of 1600/3200 megabits are said to be in development, as is an optical connection method promising some 6.4 gigabits per second (!!!) as its transfer rate.

    Add that to the fact that you can network computers with it and any old 1394 cable, the daisy-chaining support, higher available power to the devices on the bus, and the overall smarter relationship between devices on the 1394 bus and you've got a winner. No, it's not as cheap, but you do get a lot more for your money.

    It's here now, and even the add-in cards are cheap enough if you want one. (Plus, you can even get FW800 cards for the PCI bus, where USB 3.0 seems to be a PCI Express only concept.)

    As it is, I don't think that USB 3.0 is all that much of a must-have feature, nor do I like the connector design.

    1. Ammaross Danan


      "Firewire interfaces with signaling rates of 1600/3200 megabits are said to be in development"

      What does this matter? You go on to say "buy FW800 cards" as if, by some miracle, a simple firmware update will suddenly enable these "6.4 gigabits!" speeds. Bah. That "in development" firewire is about as close as USB3.0 from Intel.

      I definately agree though, AMD, VIA, etc should build USB3 into their chipsets ASAP if they want to stay ahead of Intel. AMD is already flagging behind on their top-end CPUs (although, they're still radically cheaper, which is what there market seems to be atm).

      1. The Unexpected Bill

        Clarifications for Firewire (@Ammaross Danan 23:20)

        My main reason to have even mentioned Firewire 1600/3200 is to suggest that Firewire is not a dead-end, as some perceive it to be. It's not as common as USB, but it's not dead either. My hope was that the information presented might balance the article and provide an avenue for those who were looking for something faster than USB 2.0 that wasn't USB 3.0. Perhaps it could alert people in this situation to an option they didn't know they had? That was the intention of my posting.

        I'm not trying to sell Firewire 800 cards and devices, nor did I ever say "buy Firewire 800 cards right now". I was merely trying to be helpful. :-)

        I contend that the majority of Register readers are people who have a moderate to expert level understanding of computer hardware, and would therefore know better than to think that a Firewire 800 card could magically be upgraded to support a higher signaling rate with only software. Of course, I could spend all day writing disclaimers. If I did, I would never get to the point of my posting.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up

      Firewire... the business. USB is decidedly clunky in comparison (although it's fine for mice and keyboards I suppose)

    3. Giles Jones Gold badge

      Firewire 800 is even better

      Obviously native eSATA is better, but for everything other than hard disks FW800 rocks!

  6. jabuzz

    Expansion cards?

    What happened to good old expansion cards? A quick Google tells me that PCI Express, PC Card and even mini PCI Express USB 3.0 cards are all available or in the works.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge


      USB 3.0's top bandwidth is nearly 5Gbit/sec, and additional bandwidth is required for overhead (such as PCI Express's 8b/10b encoding). A 1x PCI Express 1.0 slot only offers up to 2GBit/sec, and a 1x PCIe 2.0 slot maxes out at 4GBit/sec. Both of these are short of the mark, and I don't know of too many motherboard manufacturers that provide 4x slots on their motherboards since there hasn't been a need for a non-graphic 4x card until recently. Most I've seen only have 1x (for stuff like Ethernet cards) and 16x (for the GPU).

  7. Disco-Legend-Zeke

    Just Wondering If...

    ...some critical patent might be expiring in 2012.

  8. Reg Sim
    Jobs Halo

    Add in.

    Hmm this of couse does not prevent sombody using a usb3.0 chip on an intel board, much like the motherboard makes have used other chips on intel boards before intel supported them.

    I am intrested to know where AMD is with this however, as Intel will get it in the neck if Intel PC makers have to pay the extra for an additional motherboard chip/add on board just so they can have the USB 3.0 logo on there boxes because AMD boxes have it.

    Just a though.

    BTW "the reg" that stupid ad to get me to fill in a questionare that pops on your site for a US based firm gets old very fast. Not to mention as its US based its not subject to UK rules regarding data protection. (good old firefox plug-ins "flag-fox").

  9. Anonymous Coward


    Please, journalists, SuperSpeed USB signals at 5Gbps. HighSpeed signalled at 480Mbps. The marketing blurb said 10x, but would have been a bit wordy to have said 10.4167x.

    In fact to be actual, SuperSpeed USB signals at 5Gbps in each direction, so the marketeers missed out on claiming 20x...

    Please, please - it's 5Gbps - it's more succinct and it's correct!

  10. I Like Heckling

    Opportunity for others

    This is the perfect opportunity for AMD to roll out some chipsets that include it and for board makers to adopt them.

    Mind you... having USB3 and then sticking a slow drive on the end of it is pretty pointless and most of the offerings on the market are just that.

    Until all external storage devices are using USB3 and SSD;s it's a pointless exercise.

  11. Plymouthian

    WTH, I thought this was already a done deal

    This is annoying, while my current laptop has esata it can be kinda flaky. I was gonna get a new laptop soon but USB3 would be the must-have component, 2.0 is too slow for my purposes.

    Ho hum.

  12. Chris Mellor 1

    Intel statement

    An Intel spokesperson said: "Intel chipsets can support USB 3.0 through 3rd party controllers. As far as integration of a USB 3.0 controller into our silicon, we have not yet provided a date yet."


  13. Timothy

    Yet many

    motherboards already HAVE USB 3.0. I am looking at my Gigabyte board with my Intel i860 with Sata 3 and USB 3. Biostar AND MSI also have the same and I am sure Asus does as well.

  14. Anonymous Coward

    Yeahhhh Sure

    I love how the really fucking dimwit external drive maker are still pushing shit like ONE terrabyte external drives with USB 2.0 connections...

    And that is all.

    Like I mean that is not that bad if you only have to shuffle a few gig here and there., but ever tried to move 800Gig through a USB2 connection?

    XP crashes all the time, along with MS's truly stupid interrupts and Linux is stable - but fuck it takes a LONNNNNNNNG time.

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