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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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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.

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