More Reasons to Sing the SuperSpeed USB 3.0 Blues

Paul Lilly

We've been pretty critical over Intel's decision to delay the adoption of USB 3.0, thus ensuring another generation of USB 2.0 products before we step forward to the faster the spec. Unfortunately, Intel's move appears contagious and we've received word that several IC makers are delaying the rollout of USB 3.0 chips too.

These include Taiwan-based IC design houses ASMedia Technology (a subsidiary of Asus), VIA Labs (a subsidiary of VIA), and Etron Technology, plus one U.S.-based firm, Fresco Logic. All four design houses had grand plans of implementing USB 3.0 chips onto motherboards by the end of 2010, but none of them have yet passed certification by the USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF).

According to some Taiwan-based motherboard makers, IC design houses have been sending out buggy USB 3.0 samples that are basically unusable. The challenge for these chip makers comes not only in terms of hardware, but in developing their own software since Windows 7 doesn't natively support USB 3.0.

It's not all bad news, though. NEC continues to supply USB 3.0 parts, like the ones found on boards built around AMD's 890FX chipset, and Intel is reportedly slapping the SuperSpeed spec onto its upcoming Cougar Point chipset for desktops using Sandy Bridge CPUs. These could ship as soon as November.

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