Is Intel delaying USB 3.0?

According to a report from EETimes.com, Intel has pushed plans to support USB 3.0 in its chipsets back until 2011. Without Intel's support for the standard, motherboard and gadget makers will be forced to hold off due to the expense of using third party controllers.

Also known as SuperSpeed USB and developed by the USB 3.0 Promoter Group - Hewlett Packard, Intel, Microsoft, NEC, NXP Semiconductors and Texas Instruments - USB 3.0 promises speeds of up to 4.8Gbit/s.

At the Intel Developers Forum 2009 last month, it was unofficially revealed that Intel planned to start offering support for USB 3.0 in early 2010, but then "shifted its plans out a year," according to the EETimes.com. The business technology news site goes on to say that Intel's PC technology manager confirmed the report, however a spokesperson for Intel told them that they had not heard of a delay and would not comment any further.

A representative for Intel told Gizmodo that he hadn't heard of a delay, but that it's possible as the company focuses its attention on its next-gen Nehalem chips.

So is it delayed? Neowin will keep you updated of any confirmation either way.

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Hm... I hope this isn't the case. I was kind of excited about USB 3.0's transfer rates. Like others have stated above, I wonder if this has something to do with the work Intel is doing on Light Peak... I just want advancement at this point. USB 2.0 was great for a long time, but it just isn't sufficient any longer...

uh wait ,

would'nt USB 2.0 bottleneck USB Wireless-N ?

since the former can provide up to 50MB/s while the latter can go all the way to 75MB/s

wow. how STUPID sphbecker can be not knowing & not hearing about AMD.

Ever heard of Google, sphbecker? Yeah, google on "AMD" which stands for "Advanced Micro Devices." I had a relative that used to work for AMD and I've seen their headquarters up in Northern California.

I'm in no hurry for USB 3.0. I can wait a while. I'll get it with a brand new PC that actually supports it.

erpster3 said,
wow. how STUPID sphbecker can be not knowing & not hearing about AMD.

Ever heard of Google, sphbecker? Yeah, google on "AMD" which stands for "Advanced Micro Devices." I had a relative that used to work for AMD and I've seen their headquarters up in Northern California.

I'm in no hurry for USB 3.0. I can wait a while. I'll get it with a brand new PC that actually supports it.

Um..... Are you serious?

erpster3 said,
wow. how STUPID sphbecker can be not knowing & not hearing about AMD.

Ever heard of Google, sphbecker? Yeah, google on "AMD" which stands for "Advanced Micro Devices." I had a relative that used to work for AMD and I've seen their headquarters up in Northern California.

I'm in no hurry for USB 3.0. I can wait a while. I'll get it with a brand new PC that actually supports it.

I do believe he was being sarcastic...

I just meant the 2 are actively working on it. Apple has the ability like no other to standardize a new port. Look what they did with the dock connector. Plus its rumoured to be in an Apple in 2010. Likely the Mac Pro.

Even they will bail on that once Light Peak is ready, no use for it. However it is nicer than current adapters. New iMac is a perfect example as DisplayPort allows it to accept incoming signals in addition to output from the host, whereas other ports only accept it as the outgoing signal from the host.

I'm not a big fan of that port myself but it'll do for now.

Screw USB 3. I want Intel to focus all efforts on finalizing Light Peak with Apple. No one will need USB once that new standard is ready. Not only is it cheap but fast and multi-purpose.

daPhoenix said,
"Engadget has learned -- thanks to an extremely reliable source -- that not only is Apple complicit in the development of Light Peak, but the company actually brought the concept to Intel and asked them to create it. More to the point, the new standard will play a hugely important role in upcoming products from Cupertino."

http://www.engadget.com/2009/09/26/exclusi...intel-could-be/

We've been working on optical for many years. Specifically, this technology the last couple of years," he said. "We've developed the technology, we've developed the specifications, documenting the technology, and we have prototype product," he said.
http://news.cnet.com/8301-13924_3-10363956-64.html

Usb2 gives around 32mb/s as a maximum real world speed, you can try with a corsair cruzer usb pen. USB3 gives around 450mb/s max speed so yes it is vitally important as harddrives and usb pens are bottlenecked by the slow speed of usb2. You can now have an external hdd running at about the same speed as an internal hdd.

torrentthief said,
You can now have an external hdd running at about the same speed as an internal hdd.

You can already have this with eSATA which was actually designed for Hard Drives, where-as USB is designed for peripherals.

I'm curious to see when they will have eSATA Flash Drives...

vaximily said,
You can already have this with eSATA which was actually designed for Hard Drives, where-as USB is designed for peripherals.

I'm curious to see when they will have eSATA Flash Drives...


eSATA doesn't provide power so that would be an issue.

I'd really love to see a price break down for USB 3.0 vs Light Peak.

It will be interesting to see if Light Peak is small/cheap enough that device manufacturers would be whiling to adopt it in place of USB 3.0.

HD cameras with live streaming options.
Serial networking options
External storage devices
Display screens
this: Freakin Massive Robot thing
External Graphics Cards

I could go on but cba.

I will always love these comments.
Just think, when I brought my first computer it had 5GB of storage space and 8MB of ram. The guy in the store was almost in tears when my dad asked if we would need to upgrade anything down the line...

"Seriously you would need you, your whole family and all of your friends and their families to be using this hard drive for years to actually fill it."

Then diablo 2 was released...

Pabs(Sco) said,
What device needs this kind of speed?

External hard drives, for one. It'd be a hell of a lot quicker to back up all your data with USB 3.0.

I do get the "External drive" but disks can only write so fast and 4.8Gbit/s is surely faster then any drive can write?

HD Streaming doesn't require 4.8Gbit/s unless its uncompressed I suppose, but who would want that on a personal computer.

I just think that in practice, 99% of computer users don't need it.

That may be the case right now, but SSDs are getting cheaper and the speeds are going higher. You can also use it for external video cards as well as someone has said already.

Just think of this, at some point you could have a PC just be this small "core" box with the cpu and memory with some super fast ports, then you just run everything else external. It would sure make upgrading so easy for everyone. And hardware makers can then sell to those people who are the majority who never upgrade till 5 or so years later when they just buy a whole new PC.

Pabs(Sco) said,
I do get the "External drive" but disks can only write so fast and 4.8Gbit/s is surely faster then any drive can write?

HD Streaming doesn't require 4.8Gbit/s unless its uncompressed I suppose, but who would want that on a personal computer.

I just think that in practice, 99% of computer users don't need it.

Businesses need it all the time.

Molajoku said,
HD cameras with live streaming options.
Serial networking options
External storage devices
Display screens
this: Freakin Massive Robot thing
External Graphics Cards

I could go on but cba.

I will always love these comments.
Just think, when I brought my first computer it had 5GB of storage space and 8MB of ram. The guy in the store was almost in tears when my dad asked if we would need to upgrade anything down the line...

"Seriously you would need you, your whole family and all of your friends and their families to be using this hard drive for years to actually fill it."

Then diablo 2 was released...


Sorry to burst your bubble but I think your memory is a little off (pun intended). A computer with a 5GB hard drive probably shipped with 32 or 64MB of RAM. My first computer had 4MB or RAM with a 100MB hard drive. That was back in the days when RAM was everything, anyone who paid for an upgrade was upgrading their memory, hard drive was almost a non-issue then.

sphbecker said,
Sorry to burst your bubble but I think your memory is a little off (pun intended). A computer with a 5GB hard drive probably shipped with 32 or 64MB of RAM. My first computer had 4MB or RAM with a 100MB hard drive. That was back in the days when RAM was everything, anyone who paid for an upgrade was upgrading their memory, hard drive was almost a non-issue then.


Now you're just being stupid.
Consider that not everyone can afford for their first computer to come from a main high street vendor.
My first computer came from a random little shop called Silicon Alley and was put together from a random assortment of the working components from broken computers.

The case was from Comador and had a turbo button!!!
14" CRT monitor that hummed and went 'Bong' when you switched it on
x4 speed CD Drive
75 MHz Intel Processor
5GB Quantum Fireball HDD (it was actually a 10GB hdd which had corrupted sectors and had been partitioned to hide the dead section...this was fun)
8Mb of RAM which we eventually upgraded to 16mb

Ahh it was win...I wouldnt be where I am today if I hadn't tried to uninstall C&C by doing a search for any file with the word 'Command' in its name and then deleting it

Pabs(Sco) said,
I do get the "External drive" but disks can only write so fast and 4.8Gbit/s is surely faster then any drive can write?

HD Streaming doesn't require 4.8Gbit/s unless its uncompressed I suppose, but who would want that on a personal computer.

I just think that in practice, 99% of computer users don't need it.

I think there are many applications for it, increase in speed can only be a good thing, if you don't think so, you're in the wrong place, this is a tech news forum after all, the majority of the users here are likely to be power pc users and techs, all of which can think of ways they'd like to use 4.8Gbit/s transfer rates, networking, external drives, flash drives, printer communications etc etc etc, the more the better

Sazz181 said,
Will USB 3.0 be backwards compatible? Otherwise it sort of defeats the point of USB...

Yes it is. You can use USB 1.0 and 2.0 devices on a 3.0 port. You can also use 3.0 devices on 1.0 and 2.0 ports, it's just that the transfer speed will be a lot slower.

MightyJordan said,
Yes it is. You can use USB 1.0 and 2.0 devices on a 3.0 port. You can also use 3.0 devices on 1.0 and 2.0 ports, it's just that the transfer speed will be a lot slower.


USB 3 actually uses a different connector. You can plug old USB 1 and 2 devices into a USB 3 controller, but USB 3 devices will have two extra pins and a slightly different shaped connector so I don't see how you could plug a USB 3 device into an older controller the way you could with USB 2. So yes, USB 3 has backwards compatibility with older USB, but older USB does not have forward compatibility with USB 3 devices.

sphbecker said,
USB 3 actually uses a different connector. [etc, etc]

You could just say that USB 3.0 ports are backwards compatible, but not USB 3.0 plugs.

dismuter said,
You could just say that USB 3.0 ports are backwards compatible, but not USB 3.0 plugs.


I could, but I like using a lot of words :-)

i just hate how they keep upping the speed on this USB crap. v1. to 2 to 3 etc etc.

they need to get us something that will be semi-future proof and be done with it instead of getting new USB standards every few years or so.

i figure someone needs to make a standard like USB but have the sustained transfer speeds like up to 200MB/s and that should keep it fairly future proof for the foreseeable future.

ThaCrip said,
i just hate how they keep upping the speed on this USB crap. v1. to 2 to 3 etc etc.

they need to get us something that will be semi-future proof and be done with it instead of getting new USB standards every few years or so.

i figure someone needs to make a standard like USB but have the sustained transfer speeds like up to 200MB/s and that should keep it fairly future proof for the foreseeable future.

Did you even look at the max speed of USB 3.0? It makes your post rather... pointless :P

You can't futureproof speed. Technical limitations at the time of conception are why things like this need updating. As limits are overcome, the concept can improve. Hence, USB 3.0.

Who cares if we get a new USB spec every 2 or 3 years since the new spec also supports the older ones as well. The real kick in the balls would've been if it had no backwards compatibility at all.

ThaCrip said,
i just hate how they keep upping the speed on this USB crap. v1. to 2 to 3 etc etc.

they need to get us something that will be semi-future proof and be done with it instead of getting new USB standards every few years or so.

i figure someone needs to make a standard like USB but have the sustained transfer speeds like up to 200MB/s and that should keep it fairly future proof for the foreseeable future.


So USB started in 1994, USB 2.0 in 2000 and USB three in 2011? Oh no!! That is way too fast. You go into a decade long coma and you miss it!

Majesticmerc said,
You can't futureproof speed. Technical limitations at the time of conception are why things like this need updating. As limits are overcome, the concept can improve. Hence, USB 3.0.

you make me laugh

USB 1.0: Released in January 1996.
USB 1.1: Released in September 1998.
USB 2.0: Released in April 2000.
USB 3.0: ??

there has been nearly a DECADE since the last USB spec.

What did I say that was laughable? USB 3.0 has come about because the todays technological advances allow us to create a faster USB, and there is also a demand for it with the advent of external hard disks and the like. What did you not get?

And here's the clincher, in "x" amount of years, USB 4.0 will come about (unless of course it gets replaced by another technology) which will be EVEN FASTER and provide a higher bandwidth.

If what I said wasn't true, we wouldn't have had to wait until 2008 for Core i7, it would have just magically appeared in the 1940s when people started looking at computers. Get what I'm saying?

As computer science advanced, technology will change for the better, faster and stronger. Its pretty easy to understand.

Majesticmerc said,
What did I say that was laughable? USB 3.0 has come about because the todays technological advances allow us to create a faster USB, and there is also a demand for it with the advent of external hard disks and the like. What did you not get?

And here's the clincher, in "x" amount of years, USB 4.0 will come about (unless of course it gets replaced by another technology) which will be EVEN FASTER and provide a higher bandwidth.

If what I said wasn't true, we wouldn't have had to wait until 2008 for Core i7, it would have just magically appeared in the 1940s when people started looking at computers. Get what I'm saying?

As computer science advanced, technology will change for the better, faster and stronger. Its pretty easy to understand.

majesticmerc I think seta-san meant to quote "thacrip" although I could be wrong but that would make more sense

seta-san said,
you make me laugh

USB 1.0: Released in January 1996.
USB 1.1: Released in September 1998.
USB 2.0: Released in April 2000.
USB 3.0: ??

there has been nearly a DECADE since the last USB spec.

Law of diminishing returns. USB2 is all most people would ever need. USB3 will only provide marginal (if any) actual usable difference in speeds.

Win7 not having support is a minor update MS can just push out anytime. It's much bigger of an issue to not have actual hardware for it out there.

I would assume Windows 7 could support USB 3.0 whenever it wants, given that USB support only needed to be patched into Windows 95.

dewaaz mentions below that Intel are working on "Light Peak", which is another USB alternative with much higher capabilities, and my bet would be that this is why they're in no rush.

Makes sense, besides didn't INtel not wanna share the USB3.0 controller spec or something at the start?

Anyways, when win7 went rtm the usb3 spec wasn't final so they didn't add it. It's a simple update/patch away though.

daPhoenix said,
Windows 7 has no USB 3.0 support, Intel delays support.

Co-incidence?

What's your point? Windows XP didn't have USB 2.0 support until service pack 1.

daPhoenix said,
Windows 7 has no USB 3.0 support, Intel delays support.

Co-incidence?

Windows 7 has no USB 3.0 support because the standard doesn't officially exist yet. Just like USB 2.0 in Windows XP, enabling USB 3.0 in Windows 7 is nothing more than a software update, and will probably be included in SP1. If not SP1, then SP2.

Speaking of which, USB 3.0 will probably NOT be supported in Windows XP, since general support has ended.

maartena said,


Windows 7 has no USB 3.0 support because the standard doesn't officially exist yet. Just like USB 2.0 in Windows XP, enabling USB 3.0 in Windows 7 is nothing more than a software update, and will probably be included in SP1. If not SP1, then SP2.

Speaking of which, USB 3.0 will probably NOT be supported in Windows XP, since general support has ended.


windows doesn't need to "SUPPORT" it. All, intel or any other major manufacterer has to do is to release a third party driver just like any other device.

Majesticmerc said,
I would assume Windows 7 could support USB 3.0 whenever it wants

Whenever USB3 hardware is available it will come with driver versions for all versions of Windows including Windows 7. Driver support is only ever an issue for unpopular operating systems.