Intel announced it will wait an additional year before adopting the newer, faster USB 3.0 format by delaying the format’s motherboard chipset.
This recent news announcement will likely only anger some of Intel’s OEM partners, as the companies look to try and integrate USB 3.0 support into new product lineups.
The USB 3.0 format was first introduced in November 2008, but many people doubted the industry-wide demand for such a format. In 2009, some PCs announced they’ll release USB 3.0 products, but very few were released. Since then, more companies have launched USB 3.0 chipsets, HDDs, and other devices using the preceding USB 2.0 technology.
In April, it was revealed Intel doesn’t plan to support USB 3.0 until 2011 — but recently said it will wait until 2012 — with the company unveiling the Light Peak platform that could be a USB 3.0 successor. Light Peak promises a launch speed of 10 Gb/s, with a maximum speed of 100 Gb/s expected over the next 10 years.
Not only is Light Peak faster than USB 3.0, the optical cable is able to carry the signal with a range up to 100 meters in distance. Furthermore, USB, HDMI, SATA, PCI-E and DVI can all be supported at the same time using Light Peak, which should give it a major advantage over USB 3.0.
Asus, ASRock and Gigabyte already are shipping USB 3.0 compatible motherboards, with other manufacturers expected to make similar announcements.
I think this is a very disappointing — albeit not surprising — decision by Intel. I would have liked to see the company support USB 3.0, but it doesn’t look like that will happen until 2012, at the earliest.