Lenovo's Not So Bold Prediction: USB 3.0 Mainstream in 2012

Paul Lilly

Not that this will make any difference whatsoever to conspiracy theorists, but by this time next year, you won't hardly be able to find a new PC without a USB 3.0 port. Yes, we've heard all about how Intel is intentionally delaying adding native USB 3.0 support in its chipsets in order to promote its own Light Peak/Thunderbolt interface, but if even if that were true, it doesn't matter because as of right now, OEMs are content with USB.

In a phone interview with CNet , Lenovo talked up the USB 3.0 standard and how it's going to invade homes en masse next year.

"In 2012 USB 3.0 will a mainstream technology," said Jason Parrish, worldwide product manager for Lenovo ThinkPad. "And we see 2011 as the transition year for USB 3.0, as it starts to come into more and more products."

We're already seeing a number of PCs sporting SuperSpeed USB ports, and outside of select Macs, Thunderbolt is nowhere to be seen. That might not change in the near future. HP recently stated that, while it's looking at Thunderbolt, it isn't convinced it's needed and hasn't been able to find a value proposition for Intel's spec just yet.

Lenovo wasn't willing to go as far as HP, but did say it will ultimately be up to the customers to decide if they want Thunderbolt.

"[Thunderbolt] is definitely an interesting technology. It's clever to use the same connector as Mini DisplayPort," Parrish told CNet. "There's certainly not a desire to add more ports to a notebook, because it takes up space... We're talking to our customers... And assessing if Thunderbolt is the technology" they need.

Image Credit: Lenovo

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