The world’s leading chip maker Intel has yet to add native USB 3.0 support to its chipsets, but that isn’t stopping PC vendors from offering USB 3.0 support using third-party controllers. As a result, the technology is becoming increasingly commonplace. According to market research firm In-Stat’s estimates, shipments of USB 3.0-enabled devices could touch 80 million this year. Hit the jump for more.
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.
Why lug around a USB 2.0 flash drive when you could slip a SuperSpeed USB 3.0 stick onto your keychain? Oh, your PC isn't equipped with a USB 3.0 port? Point taken as we shake an angry fist at Intel and AMD. Still, at some point USB 3.0 ports will become commonplace, so if you're the type that likes to think ahead, a USB drive like Kingston's DataTraveler Ultimate 3.0 Generation 2 (DTU30G2) is about as future proof as you can get at the moment.
Lexar Media decided to kick things up a notch with its media card reader line by introducing a new model capable of reading faster cards and thrusting data through the SuperSpeed USB 3.0 interface. And as its name would imply, the new Lexar Professional USB 3.0 Dual-Slot Reader supports two cards at once for card-to-card file transfers.
Conspiracy theorists contend that the reason it's taking Intel so long to natively support the SuperSpeed USB 3.0 interface is because the Santa Clara chip maker is invested in its Thunderbolt (formerly known as Light Peak) interconnect. If that's the case, the plan isn't working, because at least one major OEM is having trouble finding value in Thunderbolt.
VIA earlier this week said its VL701 low power USB 3.0 to SATA bridge controller has been certified by the USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF). This makes VIA the first and only company to achieve USB-IF bus-powered certification using a traditional hard drive, which draws more power than flash-based drives. VIA's SATA bridge will allow users to connect any SATA hard drive, SSD, or optical drive to their PC using a USB 3.0 port.
Congratulations to any of you who picked "Ivy Bridge" in the office pool trying to guess which chipset Intel would finally implement native USB 3.0 support in. At the Intel Developer's Forum (IDF) in Beijing, Intel's Kirk Skaugen, vice president and general manager of Intel's Data Center Group, confirmed that at long last, USB 3.0 would be in the chip maker's cards, putting to rest conspiracy theories that the suits in Santa Clara would shun the spec in an attempt to promote Thunderbolt (Light Peak).
With Intel pushing its Light Peak (Thunderbolt) initiative, is it any surprise that AMD would win the 'race' to natively implement SuperSpeed USB 3.0 into its chipsets? We'll let the conspiracy theorists ponder that one, but regardless of what Intel's real intentions are, AMD is getting ready to officially support USB 3.0 in its A75 and A70M Fusion chipsets, becoming the first major PC chip vendor to back the SuperSpeed spec, The Inquirer reports.
Now that third-party USB 3.0 chips from the likes of NEC and VIA are appearing on nearly every new motherboard, it's high time device makers jump on the SuperSpeed bandwagon. Super Talent says it has, introducing a new line of USB 3.0 flash drives the memory maker says will cost about the same as USB 2.0 thumb drives.
If Intel thought that launching Light Peak would help tamp down the nervousness over its new I/O technology, it certainly isn’t playing out that way.
Light Peak, now dubbed Thunderbolt, was never without controversy but now that it’s finally here, the critics aren’t ready to put away the slings. After its launch, the New York Times opined: Is Thunderbolt Really a Thunderbolt? and questioned its consumer value. Slate wondered if it was a worthless grasp at the past? and questioned why Intel should even pursue wired in an age of wireless. The Financial Times accused Intel and Apple of shunning USB 3.0 to the detriment of consumers while others called it Firewire 2.0 (an allusion to the failure of Firewire to win the standards war).