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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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