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Mockup USB 3.0 cable  (Source: Tech On)
Intel says open host controller specifications have cost gazillions of dollars to develop

According to Intel’s Nick Knupffer, there are a lot of myths going around concerning USB 3.0 and Intel’s involvement in the development of the specification. Knupffer wrote a blog post on Intel’s website in an attempt to dispel these myths.

Knupffer points out that Intel is not developing the USB 3.0 specification. What Intel is developing is the host controller spec which Knupffer describes as a “Dummies Guide” to building a USB 3.0 compatible piece of silicon.

Knupffer says in the blog post that Intel has invested “gazillions of dollars and bazillions of engineering man hours” in developing the open host controller and despite its significant investment still plans to give the specification to competing manufacturers for free. Knupffer also says that Intel loves it when CPU performance is used to the max and the huge increase in bandwidth of USB 3.0 will mean larger file transfers and more processor usage. This in turn is expected to lead to an increased demand for faster processors.

AMD and NVIDIA leveled allegations at Intel recently that claim Intel was withholding the open host controller specifications in an attempt to give itself a market advantage. Intel and AMD claim that by withholding the specification the lead Intel will have in bringing USB 3.0 compliant products to market will be in the six to nine month range.

Intel denied the allegations of withholding the open host controller specifications at the time AMD and NVIDIA made their charges public and announced they would be designing their own open host controller. In Knupffer’s blog post, he again says that Intel isn’t holding the open host controller specifications back from competitors.

According to Knupffer, the significant investment in the open host controller specifications is specifically to get USB 3.0 into the market faster, so why would it withhold the specification. Intel still maintains that the specifications aren’t ready and that it plans to give the specifications to other manufacturers in the second half of 2008.

The final myth that Knupffer addresses in his post is that USB 3.0 technology borrows heavily from technology used in PCI Express. Intel points out that it was involved with both the PCI-SIG and the USB-IF at the design stage for both PCI Express and for USB 3.0. The insinuation form Intel is that the technology that is similar in both devices was developed on its dime.



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I'd hate to be Intel's CPA, Accountant or CFO...
By MrBlastman on 6/12/2008 12:46:49 PM , Rating: 5
Or COO for that matter...

I mean, accounting for gazillions of dollars and bazillions of man hours is going to be quite a masterful feat indeed.

I extend a veritable twig of fortune to them and wish them the best in their challenges!

*holds up the twig of fortune +1*




By eye smite on 6/12/2008 12:50:05 PM , Rating: 5
hehehe, are bazillion and gazillion even words that mean anything or just expressions because he lacks knowledge on what he's talking about. lol

Go Intel, love your catch phrases.


By FITCamaro on 6/12/2008 12:59:57 PM , Rating: 5
With those bazillions of engineering hours under their belts, it's surprising that a) they're not done and b) that theres a supply of mountain dew and hot pockets left in the universe.


RE: I'd hate to be Intel's CPA, Accountant or CFO...
By The0ne on 6/12/2008 1:30:05 PM , Rating: 3
Engineering does cost a lot of money and time. Projects are almost never finish to what they should have been, thus improvements are made. The amount of money does not determine when a project is due, not gazillions or bazillions.


RE: I'd hate to be Intel's CPA, Accountant or CFO...
By nosfe on 6/12/2008 1:36:04 PM , Rating: 1
yes it does, when you have gazillions to throw around it means that you should have bazillions of engineers working on the project so as to finish it before your "friends" get grumpy


RE: I'd hate to be Intel's CPA, Accountant or CFO...
By sviola on 6/12/2008 2:04:12 PM , Rating: 5
Sometimes the increase in human resources in a project won't make it end quicker. Remember:

"One woman can deliver a baby in 9 months, but 9 women won't deliver a baby in one month".
(by a local project manager guru ;) )


By elessar1 on 6/12/2008 2:11:46 PM , Rating: 2
i use that one all the time ;)

From SCL

elessar


By SirRob on 6/12/2008 3:05:01 PM , Rating: 3
You are correct, but only with 1 specific project being managed very strictly, i.e. no scope creep, etc. Where this analogy breaks down is the fact that there are almost always additional variables that cause projects to miss deadlines. Often these unforeseen issues can be helped with additional man hours that could be provided by additional workers. You could argue that that 9 women cannot deliver 1 baby in one month, but I could argue that 9 women almost definitely guarantees that the project will not go past the 9 month deadline and may actually speed up the project by a week or two. If you have unlimited resources (not even Intel does) then it is worth it. This is where risk analysis comes in.


By CyberHawk on 6/12/2008 4:01:28 PM , Rating: 2
Luckily this is not true for all things.

But, I have to agree to some point:


By fonzdaman on 6/13/2008 12:13:50 AM , Rating: 2
Oh i love the exaguration :D, makes feel all warm inside.


By FITCamaro on 6/12/2008 1:43:53 PM , Rating: 1
Do I need to wave a flag that says "sarcasm" on it?


By porkpie on 6/12/2008 1:39:48 PM , Rating: 5
Real engineers eat pizza and cheetos, not hot pockets. In emergencies though, Dr. Pepper is a valid substitute for Mountain Dew.


By Silver2k7 on 6/12/2008 1:50:58 PM , Rating: 3
Jolt Cola and Thai Redbull (Kratingdaeng) is the shit ;)


By FITCamaro on 6/12/2008 3:21:23 PM , Rating: 2
I prefer to live past age 40 without diabetes.


By JonnyDough on 6/13/2008 3:38:54 AM , Rating: 2
You must have been down rated by a late night sugar monger, or else someone who just jabbed their arm to administer insulin didn't think you were funny. Either way, I'm not a big fan of soda pop or deserts. I'll take the second and third helping of that deep dish yummy casserole though.


By plinkplonk on 6/13/2008 5:58:58 AM , Rating: 4
you can enjoy all these refreshments without getting diabetes, just don't go crazy and eat gazillions of them a bazillion times a day and you'll be fine ;)


By JonnyDough on 6/13/2008 6:50:43 AM , Rating: 2
Always in moderation, I know I know. It's just, I don't really crave sweets. Weird? I binge on a bit of chocolate now and then, but I did live an hour from Hershey, PA for about 6 years as a kid.


By Regs on 6/17/2008 8:40:48 AM , Rating: 2
How about live to the age of 39, and then get hit by a truck?


By FITCamaro on 6/12/2008 3:22:47 PM , Rating: 1
This got rated down because....


By xti on 6/12/2008 3:50:43 PM , Rating: 2
mountain dew > you


By MrBlastman on 6/12/2008 3:50:58 PM , Rating: 3
Swear filter. If you swear you get an automatic 1 point deduction.

FITCamaro, You have been fined 1 credit for violation of the DT morality code.

*prints out sheet of paper and hands it to FIT*


By Einy0 on 6/12/2008 6:03:56 PM , Rating: 2
nice!!! Love that flick...


By shockf1 on 6/12/2008 8:12:09 PM , Rating: 1
how can moutain dew keep you awake?
where i come from its just like a lemonaid??


By jajig on 6/12/2008 9:43:36 PM , Rating: 2
It also contains urine and vegetable oil to keep you alert!


By bodar on 6/13/2008 4:33:39 AM , Rating: 2
Maybe you'd see an effect if you stopped doing crystal meth?


By ZartPARZ on 6/12/2008 9:41:02 PM , Rating: 2
This should mean that they are not good in multithreading, although they produce one of the best multitreading processor :P


By lealwai on 6/12/2008 12:53:39 PM , Rating: 2
i thought that too, but considering this was posted on a blog posted and not an official statement, i think it can be forgiven


By SLEEPER5555 on 6/12/2008 1:05:24 PM , Rating: 2
haa


By Locutus465 on 6/12/2008 1:44:26 PM , Rating: 2
That's nothing, at my last job we were managing "bagillions" of orders every day :D


By cmontyburns on 6/12/2008 5:18:39 PM , Rating: 2

say...

how much is a "Gillion" worth?
how much is a "Bagillion" worth?
and
how much is a "Vagillion" worth?


By MozeeToby on 6/12/2008 1:58:09 PM , Rating: 5
Bazillions... reminds of a joke.

White house aid: "Mr President, we just recieved word that 6 Brazillion troops died in Iraq today."

Bush: "Oh my God, that's horrible.... how many are in a Brazillion"

*rimshot*

Thank you, thank you, I'll be here all day (or until my office floats away, whichever happens first).


By Chernobyl68 on 6/12/2008 3:46:29 PM , Rating: 2
I heard it as a blonde reading a newspaper on a plane.


By Einy0 on 6/12/2008 6:05:52 PM , Rating: 1
better as a Bush joke I'd say...


By Justin Case on 6/16/2008 2:42:12 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Mr President, we just recieved word that 6 Brazillion troops died in Iraq today.


I'm pretty sure the joke hinges on the aide saying Brazilian ...


USB processor
By Screwballl on 6/12/2008 1:19:40 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Knupffer also says that Intel loves it when CPU performance is used to the max and the huge increase in bandwidth of USB 3.0 will mean larger file transfers and more processor usage. This in turn is expected to lead to an increased demand for faster processors.


Ok so this should point to a new direction: a simple "bus bridge" or "chipset style" processor that will handle the speed needed for the USB connection without draining precious speed and resources from the main processor itself. similar to how sound card companies have added a "processor" of sorts to their products, for example Creative's X-fi card. The more hardware that gets integrated into the main board, the more it has to rely on the processor and onboard components to run them. At least with a separate processor of its own, the system can leave the main CPU to handle the rest of the tasks.




RE: USB processor
By mattclary on 6/12/2008 2:34:18 PM , Rating: 2
I was wondering why no one else seemed to pay attention to that quote. It is my understanding that Firewire is a lot less processor intensive. All of a sudden, the processor demands of USB seem to make sense, don't they?!

Really kind of ticks me off that they want to design stuff to make demands on the CPU when it might be avoided.


RE: USB processor
By Reclaimer77 on 6/12/2008 3:23:23 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Really kind of ticks me off that they want to design stuff to make demands on the CPU when it might be avoided.


Why not ? How many times is your CPU at 100% loads or even 50% ? My " old " E6400 is at 15% load right now with Firefox open, Winamp running, a virus scanner and two spyware apps going AND 43 processes running. And the second core is barely doing anything at all.

Why not utilize the CPU more ? There is so much potential we're not even exploring. This is a good thing Intel is doing !


RE: USB processor
By mattclary on 6/12/2008 3:31:53 PM , Rating: 2
If CPU usage doesn't slow down the transfer or cause other processes to slow down fine, but in my experience, even somewhat fast machines can be bogged down during a USB transfer of large files or a large number of files.


RE: USB processor
By mattclary on 6/12/2008 3:41:38 PM , Rating: 2
Do a google search on: usb cpu usage

I think a big part of the problem is being CPU bound, poor driver implementations can wreak havoc causing pegged CPU usage.


RE: USB processor
By SiliconAddict on 6/13/2008 1:30:36 AM , Rating: 3
Yah and lets say I'm ripping\encoding a DVD directly to an external drive those clocks are being eaten up as it accesses USB 3. Pointless and stupid. FW800 may be expensive but I have no problems treating attached drives as internal drives because of the speed.


RE: USB processor
By Klober on 6/13/2008 2:59:35 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Why not utilize the CPU more ? There is so much potential we're not even exploring. This is a good thing Intel is doing !

Let's think about this for a moment. Intel says that everything they do now takes power consumption into account, yet this shows that as a flat-out lie at worst, and misleading at best. The less the CPU is in use the more chance it has to go into a low-power state to save energy, but by running the USB bus off the CPU you are guaranteed that as long as you're doing something as simple as moving the mouse you're going to be using CPU cycles. Also, a specialized processor has the capability of being more efficient than a general purpose processor, yet they keep the USB relying on the CPU instead of giving the USB interface its own processor. This means that you are going to use more energy to run the USB, which in turn produces more heat, which in turns requires more energy to cool off the room it is in, all of which is a continuing higher cost to me. I would prefer, for the reasons stated here along with several others (i.e. use my CPU to run AI/physics/etc for Crysis, instead of ALSO helping run the USB to process my keyboard and mouse commands and whatever else is attached), to spend a bit more on the initial one-time cost and keep the recurring costs to a minimum. And I'm pretty sure building a bit extra onto the chipset to process USB signals, or creating a small chip specifically for that purpose, is going to be more cost-effective for the end-user in the long run, not to mention it'll help with the coming (already starting) energy crisis.

Just my 2 cents.


RE: USB processor
By theapparition on 6/12/2008 4:36:58 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
It is my understanding that Firewire is a lot less processor intensive.

Your understanding is correct, but interpretation is all wrong.
USB is a LOW COST interconnect that uses the processor to manage communication. Implementation of USB into integrated chipsets is soooo low cost, it's almost not even worth mentioning.

Firewire (IEEE1394) has it's own logic to control comms. As such, it's implementation costs signifigantly more. It did have the added benefit of not loading the computer as much.

As such, both formats have co-existed and will both continue to evolve. You see this clearly diferentiated between target markets. Where devices exist that need high speed serial communication between devices where a computer isn't present, you'll only see Firewire. TV's, Camcorders, STB's, etc. All Firewire because a CPU isn't required. Where computers are involved, you'll see mainly USB.

See, there is reason behind the madness and not all is for "nefarious motives".


RE: USB processor
By mattclary on 6/13/2008 9:39:09 AM , Rating: 2
Thanks for the response, that makes a lot more sense to me now.


RE: USB processor
By mindless1 on 6/13/2008 6:32:19 AM , Rating: 2
My interpretation of that statement was different than yours. Enabling large file transfers can mean having an ability to more reasonably deal with files, work with them on a PC in other ways that entail CPU processing, not necessarily that it's just a matter of needing more CPU muscle to move the bits around during a bus transfer.

Think of it another way, optical drives and broadband both greatly increased the demand for faster processors, while neither is necessarily, especially demanding of a processor beyond the early days of winmodems and PIO mode drives.


New market
By Screwballl on 6/12/2008 1:39:31 PM , Rating: 2
The problem with now compared to the USB 1.0/1.1 days is that there are multiple manufacturers for processors, chipsets and motherboards so Intel should not be the only one working on the logic and coding for the USB 3.0 spec. they should work with AMD, nvidia, VIA as well as the motherboard manufacturers to make sure everyone is on the same page and ends up with hardware and BIOS revisions that can take advantage of the higher speeds.
By Intel not allowing others to help work on it, you know that Intel will release it first with their chipsets and that will give them at least a 6-9 month head start over everyone else. This is exactly what Intel is working towards.




RE: New market
By FITCamaro on 6/12/2008 1:48:36 PM , Rating: 2
You belong in the news. You took what someone else already said, and then restated it as if it was your original thought.


RE: New market
By Screwballl on 6/12/2008 2:43:04 PM , Rating: 2
I am a tech journalist so I guess I just re-worded what others have said... but I still posted this because I agree with it.


RE: New market
By Reclaimer77 on 6/12/08, Rating: -1
RE: New market
By prenox on 6/12/2008 4:00:12 PM , Rating: 3
Yea if they weren't calling it an Open Host than they could do that.


RE: New market
By Topweasel on 6/12/2008 9:25:08 PM , Rating: 3
Some people miss this entirely. AMD and Intel have a cross licensing agreement. If this was like the stupid game company that bought the UT3 engine it would be one thing, but intel has taken an open tech said they would come up with the controller "dummy guide"(so that everyone is compatible) all the while developing hardware for it, holding the the early drafts AMD and Nvidia (not to mention Via and SIIG) preventing them being able to developing the parts at the same time as Intel. If its open technology why should Intel be allowed to get a 6 month headstart, and along with that why would AMD/Nvidia be looked down apon for coming up with their own compatible* USB controller.

Intel knows that without this "dummy guide" that even within the USB specs their will be enough differences between the two crate incompatibilities. This is what you call Anti-competitive behavior. They had to pay $250 million to a Texas based computer Manufacturer (insperion?) for the same type of information hold back, because while they used Intel CPU's (pentium pro), they used homegrown and serverworks chipsets on their homemade mobo's for their workstation and servers.


RE: New market
By mindless1 on 6/13/2008 6:36:27 AM , Rating: 2
You're missing a key factor, that they could still release the current information without the spec done so that the other companies can put forth the groundwork for their own implementations, having most of it done even if Intel changes some things they then have to change themselves.

Their claim is correct, if Intel doesn't release the spec or key details far enough in advance it will give Intel a market advantage. Perhaps in a perfect world Intel would be entitled to this advantage for their money spent, but that's not the rules under which the game is being played.


"Gazillions" and "Bazillions"
By Goty on 6/12/2008 12:58:50 PM , Rating: 2
Hmmm. Must be technical terms. =P




RE: "Gazillions" and "Bazillions"
By Misty Dingos on 6/12/2008 1:10:57 PM , Rating: 3
Yes they are VERY technical and because I am nice person and I like to help folks out I will define them for you.

A gazillion is more than 1 and less than infinity.
A bazillion is more than 10 and less than infinity +1.

Glad I could be of help.
Next question?


RE: "Gazillions" and "Bazillions"
By iceolate on 6/12/2008 2:13:24 PM , Rating: 2
No way! I'm pretty sure a gazillion is more than a bazillion... Like, 10 times more... I think you've got it backwards.


By Chernobyl68 on 6/12/2008 3:50:36 PM , Rating: 4
I've told him a zillion times not to exaggerate.


I hate it when
By FITCamaro on 6/12/2008 12:53:57 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Intel and AMD claim that by withholding the specification the lead Intel will have in bringing USB 3.0 compliant products to market will be in the six to nine month range.


Companies withhold things from themselves. Kind of like Coke suing themselves.




RE: I hate it when
By chick0n on 6/12/2008 1:19:41 PM , Rating: 2
Intel : OH no I didnt hold anything
AMD : Yes you are, we need the specs to make USB 3.0 stuff.
Intel : I've spent like Gazillions of dollars and Bazillion of man hours to make this *dummy guide*
AMD : Answer my question damn it
Intel : OH no I didnt hold anything ...

*Repeat from line 2*


RE: I hate it when
By FITCamaro on 6/12/2008 1:46:20 PM , Rating: 2
Not sure if you missed the typo that I was quoting or not...


RE: I hate it when
By adiposity on 6/12/2008 2:15:27 PM , Rating: 2
He clearly did.


Cheap shot
By BruceLeet on 6/12/2008 4:33:22 PM , Rating: 1
The guy who speaks of writing a "Dummies Guide" for the USB Host Controller Spec.

Basically calling AMD/Nvidia dummies, I guess its aimed back for AMDs and Nvidias allegations.




RE: Cheap shot
By TomZ on 6/12/2008 8:57:23 PM , Rating: 2
Not really; what Intel means is that they are not only going to create the specification, but they are also going to develop a design and basically give that away for free.

Sounds like a good deal for AMD and nVidia, since this will speed their products to market. It also sounds good for consumers, since if there is a common design or implementation for the host controllers, there will probably be fewer compatibility problems. Win-win for everybody.


RE: Cheap shot
By BruceLeet on 6/12/2008 11:39:27 PM , Rating: 2
I wasn't talking about that :S

I was speaking of the Dummy Guide


RE: Cheap shot
By Targon on 6/13/2008 6:50:08 AM , Rating: 3
And the problem is that if the Intel implementation leaves a lot to be desired(aka requires more CPU power), it gives Intel an edge overall because Intel holds a CPU advantage over AMD at this point. This means that AMD and NVIDIA will want to make their own products that will be compatible with the "free" one that Intel produces, but won't suck up 50 percent of one core just to run at full speed.

Never for a moment forget that Intel may sound like they are being "nice" while trying to screw over their competition in other areas. They will try to establish a situation where people MUST use their products just to be the dominant force in the industry. They are very similar to Microsoft in that regard since brand name recognition is almost more important than having the better product.


RE: Cheap shot
By TomZ on 6/13/2008 2:34:46 PM , Rating: 1
I don't think that Intel is talking about USB3 requiring lots of CPU overhead. That would be stupid.

What Intel is saying is that fat pipes give rise to applications that use the CPU more and more. And that trend not only benefits Intel, but it also benefits AMD and probably nVidia as well.

Really, what AMD and nVidia don't like is that Intel seemingly is in control of USB 3.0. But considering their roles in making the previous USB versions successful, I think Intel has earned the right to define the next version of the standard.


By jconan on 6/12/2008 8:11:42 PM , Rating: 2
"Intel and AMD claim that by withholding the specification the lead Intel will have in bringing USB 3.0 compliant products to market will be in the six to nine month range." Wasn't that Nvidia and AMD unless Intel concurs with AMD that they are being anticompetitive as AMD alleges? Does Intel really want to claim that they are withholding it for market lead?




By alexton108 on 6/12/2008 10:34:42 PM , Rating: 2
What is the transfer rate for USB 1, USB 2 and USB 3?


By RDC on 6/13/2008 2:44:24 AM , Rating: 2
Afaik
USB 1.1 - 12Mbps
USB 2.0 - 480Mbps
USB 3.0 - ~5Gbps


correction
By hellokeith on 6/12/2008 1:16:41 PM , Rating: 4
Intel and AMD claim that by withholding the specification the lead Intel

That should be Nvidia and AMD.




RE: correction
By BruceLeet on 6/12/08, Rating: 0
By SiliconAddict on 6/13/2008 1:27:23 AM , Rating: 2
Yah well tell that to mobile users who like long battery life....idiot.




By mindless1 on 6/13/2008 6:41:49 AM , Rating: 2
You do realize it's up to you what files and transfers to do, right? It's not as though transferring a 1GB file over USB3 should take more power in total than doing so over USB2, probably quite a bit less since you're not left waiting for it.

I do agree that battery life is the biggest hurdle, at least to my use of modern laptops - USB2 might be a distant third or fourth after choosing between slower (than desktop) hard drives or expensive SSDs, and better wifi performance.


USB 3.0
By sprockkets on 6/12/2008 4:15:17 PM , Rating: 2
Hey what happened to wireless USB?




Slight typo...
By PrezWeezy on 6/12/2008 7:37:22 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Intel and AMD claim that by withholding the specification the lead Intel will have in bringing USB 3.0 compliant products to market will be in the six to nine month range.


I'm guessing that should say "nVidia and AMD claim..."




By nah on 6/13/2008 11:07:59 AM , Rating: 2
Why don't they try to get USB 2 working to it's full spec first--my fastest working USB drives--the Transcend v.60 series, barely reach 33MB/s on average when transferring from the drive to the HDD and 4 MB/s in the reverse--this is a far cry from it's full spec of 60 MB/s (480 Mbps)--even my external drives (USB enclosure SATA HDD )don't reach more than 40 MB/s on average during transfers--that's still at 81 % of the USB spec (including 15 % overhead) on XP SP2.




See what we have 802.11n
By jeromekwok on 6/13/2008 1:19:22 PM , Rating: 2
I agree everyone in the industry to wait until we have a perfect USB 3.0. As we are not getting USB 3 compatible peripherals anytime soon, no need to rush for a USB 3 mobo.

See 802.11n there are many incompatible pre-n devices out there. I don't want to see the same happen to USB 3.

Anyway USB 2 is fast enough for most devices. I am looking for wireless USB to rock.




Intel and AMD
By ceefka on 6/19/2008 11:17:03 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Intel and AMD claim that by withholding the specification the lead Intel will have in bringing USB 3.0 compliant products to market will be in the six to nine month range.


Shouldn't this be: "NVIDIA and AMD claim....."?




Typo
By techyguy on 6/12/2008 2:12:35 PM , Rating: 1
"Intel and AMD claim that by withholding the specification the lead Intel will have in bringing USB 3.0 compliant products to market will be in the six to nine month range."

Intel is being a little too honest.




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