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Light Peak Demo  (Source: CNET)
Support for USB 3.0 by Intel could be as far out as 2012

Intel is an innovator in the computer market and has been for years, despite issues with anticompetitive practices around the world. Intel currently supports USB 2.0 and other connectivity like FireWire and eSATA in its mobile chipsets.

However, Intel has not offered support for the new USB 3.0 interface in its chipsets and the few machines on the market with USB 3.0 support are doing so using third-party chipsets. On-chip support for USB 3.0 from Intel is thought to be as far out as 2012. Intel is talking up its own much faster competing standard to USB 3.0 known as Light Peak. Light Peak first surfaced earlier this year and was thought to be coming in late 2010.

That date was later pushed and 
CNET News reports that Light Peak is now ready to hit the market by the middle of 2011. One industry source cited by CNET claims that support will come in the first part of the year, not the later part meaning it could be right around the corner.

Light Peak is much faster than USB 3.0 with speeds up to 10Gbps. Industry heavyweight Apple is not supporting USB 3.0 on its computers, but it is expected to fully support Light Peak and the thought is that Apple may even be the first computer maker to offer the tech on a computer. Intel has already stated when Light Peak was first unveiled that "Apple is an innovating force in the industry."

Officially Intel still has plans to support USB 3.0 reports 
CNET. An Intel spokesperson said, "We are absolutely committed to USB 3.0 and beyond that." Exactly when that commitment will start is the big question and it appears the start will be after Light Peak has time to take hold in the market.

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RE: anticompetitive
By Solandri on 11/4/2010 2:03:08 PM , Rating: 2
If Intel is in no rush to roll out USB3, then manufacturers will be in no rush to roll out USB3 devices.

Its nice AMD is on the forefront, but it seems almost irrelevant to me. If the masses don't have USB3, then why would manufacturers target such a market until they do?

The flip side of that argument is that if USB 3.0 is really such an important feature, then it would provide AMD a substantial advantage by incorporating it sooner, leading to AMD gaining market share at Intel's expense.

Personally, I'm not really sure USB 3.0 has much of a market. The only place I can think of where I can use the extra bandwidth right now is with large sequential transfers from an external hard drive. USB 2.0 tops out just below 30 MB/sec in RL, which is fast enough for most people. Current external hard drives can typically hit 60-120 MB/sec in sequential read. You can go higher with a 10k RPM drive or SSD, but why would you have one of those as an external? Most of the people who need that extra speed have already gotten enclosures with eSATA connectors.

That's not to say USB 3.0 is a bad thing. Going forward, I'm sure the average speed of external devices will improve to where it'll offer a significant advantage over USB 2.0 for most people. But I don't see much market to roll this out on all platforms right now. It's not at all like USB 2.0, which was a breath of fresh air compared to how dog slow USB 1.x was.

“And I don't know why [Apple is] acting like it’s superior. I don't even get it. What are they trying to say?” -- Bill Gates on the Mac ads

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