With companies like Asus and Gigabyte all gung-ho to push USB 3.0 into every household, you'd expect the new spec would have an easy time marching into the mainstream. Unfortunately, that isn't the case, and you're not likely to see USB 3.0 become widespread until the tail end of 2011. The reason? No direct support from Intel.
"The real sweet spot of a new version of USB comes when it is integrated into the chipset of the PC," said Brian O'Rourke, an analyst at In-Stat. "That's when USB becomes mainstream. By integrating it into the its chipsets, Intel essentially allows PC OEMs to offer that new flavor of USB for free.
But according to O-Rourke, Intel isn't expected to do this until late 2011. Whether or not that's really the time line, Intel won't say, but at least one analyst believes that USB 3.0 just isn't a priority for Intel.
"USB 2.0 is doing a pretty good job for most people," according to Brookwood. And what about HD camcorders and HD digital cameras, which can benefit from the extra transfer speed that USB 3.0 offers? "Those people are typically willing to pay a premium for high-end systems that have USB 3.0."