Print 45 comment(s) - last by atlmann10.. on Oct 27 at 12:07 AM

Delay will greatly impact USB 3.0 adoption in 2010

When it comes to backing up large amounts of data, many computer users will agree that USB 2.0 speeds are simply not fast enough. This has led to eSATA and other connectivity solutions that can provide more bandwidth than USB 2.0 is capable of for the storage industry.

Those looking forward to the wide rollout of USB 3.0 will be saddened to hear that the specification has been dealt a setback. This summer, expectations were that USB 3.0 devices and computers supporting USB 3.0 would be available before 2010.

A source at a top-tier computer maker has confirmed to EETimes that USB 3.0 support in key Intel chipsets has been postponed until 2011. Support for USB 3.0 was expected to show up in early 2010 for Intel chipsets. The same top-tier PC maker source also told EETimes that wireless USB was effectively dead. Rather than moving to wireless USB, which has had many supporting startups and interest groups close up shop, the industry buzz is now focusing on 60 GHz technology.

With Intel not offering wide support for USB 3.0 in its chipsets in 2010, adoption of the specification will reportedly be limited to a few high-end graphics workstations and consumer PCs. The makers of these systems will be forced to buy discrete host controllers for their boards, which will make the parts high-cost items.

The unnamed source added, "It's hard to commit to an emerging technology like this (USB 3.0) when the key silicon enablers are not making it a priority. You get into a chicken-and-egg situation." USB 3.0 "won't get real traction until it gets integrated in the chip sets," said the source.

As for why USB 3.0 was postponed after a big showing at IDF, the source told EETimes, "Tech and strategy groups (at Intel) are not always aligned with the product development teams that are in the mode of trying to make revenue and prioritize what to integrate."

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By smilingcrow on 10/22/2009 10:40:54 AM , Rating: 3
What are AMD’s plans?

By MikeMurphy on 10/22/2009 10:56:11 AM , Rating: 2
And here I was waiting until USB3 and SATA 6gbs to upgrade my mobo and cpu. :(

By micksh on 10/22/2009 11:04:44 AM , Rating: 2
Gigabyte GA-P55A-UD4 should be available this year.

By semo on 10/22/2009 12:59:12 PM , Rating: 2
ooh this looks tasty. wonder if it is worth waiting for and how good those first gen controllers would be

By micksh on 10/22/2009 1:43:52 PM , Rating: 5
I guess this may be too expensive and may be delayed. Even GA-P55-UD4 - previous version without new SATA and USB is not widely available yet.
SATA 6 Gbps is too young, there are no available SSDs utilizing it so it's hard to tell if there will be compatibility problems or not. For example, do the first controllers support TRIM?

I think a safer and less expensive buy now is a motherboard with PCIe x4 slot that doesn't take bandwidth from main PEG x16 slot. Then when we have SATA 3.0 devices we can buy SATA 3.0 PCIe x4 card that will have been tested by that time. And PCIe x1 card should be good enough for USB 3.0

There is another ASRock P55 MB on the market with SATA 3.0 but it's a joke. SATA 6 Gbps is connected through PCIe 1x - slower speed than SATA 3 Gbps.
Asus constantly delays its SATA 3.0 MB - there must be some problems with the first implementations.

By semo on 10/22/2009 6:25:59 PM , Rating: 2
buy now is a motherboard with PCIe x4 slot that doesn't take bandwidth from main PEG x16 slot
If i understand correctly that counts all P55 mobos out since they only have 16 PCIe lanes?

Also, I think it will be hard to find any decent SATA 3 cards out there since even today i don't really know of a decent discrete sata controller that doesn't cost more than a top of the range mobo.

By micksh on 10/22/2009 6:57:10 PM , Rating: 2
If i understand correctly that counts all P55 mobos out since they only have 16 PCIe lanes?

No. P55 chipset has its own 8 PCIe 1.0 lanes (apart from Lynnfield CPU which itself has 16 PCIe 2.0 lanes).
Some motherboards have a separate PCIe x16 (x4 electrical) slot that connects to P55 and it's independent from slot you use for video card. Like this one:
This is the search that gives all such motherboards:

By semo on 10/22/2009 7:15:50 PM , Rating: 2
good to know thanks!i think soon we might have to take a deeper look at motherboards and count the number of pci lanes rather than just slots. that is if pci ssds become more popular (mass storage without the wires... mmmmmm).sata2/3 is ideal for a couple of big hdds but full duplex PCIe is where SSDs should go i think.

By atlmann10 on 10/27/2009 12:07:38 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah and ASUS also has a board released right now with 6 sata2 and 2 sata3 ports on board. From what I understand this board is active and shipping although it does not have USB3 the sata3 is there. I think Intel is going to loose on this really. I mean both sata3 and usb3 are spec'd, developed, and ready. Sata3 is being rolled out by some manufacturers now, I bet someone else will throw some usb3 somewhere at least before 2011. I understood Intel was not solo on this development anyway. In the current economy an add on like this (usb3) adds to a product, and many organizations don't have the time to wait that Intel does as well. So I think someone will talk some sense into someone, or go rogue and drop it themselves.

By TomZ on 10/22/2009 10:59:24 AM , Rating: 2
I don't think AMD would be able to signficantly increase marketshare by adding USB 3.0 support a few months before Intel, if that's what you're getting at. USB 3.0 isn't a key purchasing decision for most of the market. That is why it is being delayed.

I don't like the decision, but I can understand it.

By Karandar on 10/22/2009 11:20:08 AM , Rating: 3
The AMD SB850 supposedly supports SATA 3 6gb, but no mention of AMD supported USB 3 yet from the roadmaps I have seen.

From what I have read the SB850 chip should be out as early as 1st of the year.

I want SATA3 and a SATA3 SSD. They can actually use some of the extra bandwidth :)

Our best hope to get usb3 will be from the likes of ASUS and Gigabyte adding in the 3rd party NEC chip or the like on their motherboards.

I think you will see 3rd parties one up Intel yet again next year...

By micksh on 10/22/2009 1:47:34 PM , Rating: 3
the SB850 chip should be out as early as 1st of the year

1st day, week, month, quarter, or, perhaps, first half of the year?

By Operandi on 10/22/2009 2:08:02 PM , Rating: 2
I had a NEC USB2.0 chip way back on one of my VIA chipset Athlon machines and it always worked without a hitch.

By hyvonen on 10/22/2009 2:44:20 PM , Rating: 2
I loved the NEC USB card! Back then when I was still using AMD CPUs (w/ VIA chipsets), the Via USB2.0 just WOULD NOT WORK. Ever. Probably a driver issue.

NEC was flawless. Worked every time. Fast.

Of course, since I switched to Intel, USB2.0 has been flawless. Works every time. Fast.

"We shipped it on Saturday. Then on Sunday, we rested." -- Steve Jobs on the iPad launch
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