a number of notebooks on the market today that have USB 3.0 ports onboard. HP unveiled
notebooks this week that that have USB 3.0 for example. However, all
of the notebooks and desktops on the market today have to use a third-party USB
3.0 controller because AMD and Intel don’t support the standard natively. That
is all about to change though.
AMD has announced that it has new chipsets that will be the first to integrated
USB 3.0 support. AMD's Phil Hughes told CNET News,
"With [today's] announcement AMD is...disclosing our support for
SuperSpeed USB 3.0 in upcoming AMD A75 and A70M Fusion [chipsets]. Both
chipsets are shipping today."
It has taken long enough for major chipmakers to support USB 3.0 and with this
announcement perhaps more companies will start to offer peripherals and gear
that takes advantage of the port. There are some products on the market already
that support USB 3.0, but nowhere near the vast and varied product types that
use USB 2.0.
Analyst Brian O'Rourke from In-Stat said, "In order for the rippling
effect to happen with USB 3.0 it has to hit in PCs and for it to hit in PCs it
has to be integrated into the chipset. AMD is not Intel, but it's probably the
next best thing in chipsets." He continued saying, "The only
peripheral devices with USB 3.0 out there right now are external hard drives
and a few flash drives. Why? There aren't any peripheral controllers for USB
3.0 in general release yet. Not any out there on the market yet."
While AMD has its chipsets shipping already with support for USB 3.0, support
from AMD rival Intel is still a ways off. Intel has been pushing support for
Thunderbolt along with Apple and a few other companies. Thunderbolt is
positioned by Intel as a complement to USB 3.0; not a replacement.
Intel has now announced that support for both USB
3.0 and Thunderbolt will come in the same chipsets sometime in 2012.
Native support for Thunderbolt and USB 3.0 will land in the Intel Ivy Bridge
offers support for USB 3.0 in some of its desktop mainboards, but that support
comes by way of the NEC USB 3.0 chips.