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NVIDIA: Intel delaying USB 3.0 chips until 2011

updated 03:50 pm EST, Wed November 4, 2009

NVIDIA blames Intel for delaying USB 3

Intel may have stalled adoption of the USB 3.0 standard for as long as two years, NVIDIA spokesman Brian Burke says. Following an apparent PC vendor leak which claims Intel won't have any USB 3.0-capable chipsets of its own until 2011, Burke tells TGDaily that NVIDIA has learned the same news. He contends that Intel has held the industry back by creating a near monopoly in demand for its chipsets but refusing to provide significant updates.

"With no competition in chipsets, it seems Intel has decided that innovation is not needed for USB any time soon," he adds. "With no one to push Intel to innovate, PC enthusiasts are left with Intel chipsets and the features and performance they deliver, or lack [thereof]."

The statement effectively accuses Intel of abusing its control over chipset licensing to shut out competitors like NVIDIA that might threaten its business. Both companies are involved in matching lawsuits over the scope of NVIDIA's existing license for Intel chipsets. Intel believes NVIDIA's license to make chipsets doesn't cover the Core i7 or any other processor with an integrated memory controller; NVIDIA has countered that its license is still valid and that Intel is fabricating an exception to shut out a competitor whose graphics performance and other features are much higher.

Without a valid license, the GeForce 9400M, Ion and related chipsets are unlikely to support more recent Intel processors and could force companies like Apple to redesign their computers.

The absence of an Intel chipset doesn't preclude the use of USB 3.0 altogether during the interval, as controllers from NEC and other companies are reaching the market on production mainboards. However, it's likely to reduce adoption and may skew support towards Light Peak, which could be in production devices later in 2010 and is theoretically twice as fast.

by MacNN Staff



  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969



    First off, when they say 'theoretically could be twice as fast" all that means is "it may be slower, the same as, or faster then the other, depending on whose numbers you use, and whether you're comparing theoreticals or real-world numbers".

    Secondly, the 2010 timeframe is iffy at best. Quick adoption isn't something you see from concept to production. It takes them forever just to produce the controller chips for others to start working the hardware.

    Thirdly, don't buy any new Mac hardware or peripherals for a year or two. Knowing Apple, they'll jump in whole-hog, rip out all other ports on their macs, and expect everyone to jump onto the Light Peak bandwagon.

  1. chas_m




    Once AGAIN, usb3 becomes vapourware. How DID I know this would happen?

    Oh wait, let's do a slashdot search for USB3. Hmm ... some articles from 2004 promising that it would be out next year, articles from 2006 promising it would be out next year, press release from Intel (2007) promising it would be out next year, SuperSpeed USB press release from last year's convention promising it would be out this year ... speed testing that shows USB3 is only 60% as fast as it claims to be ... etc

  1. ggirton

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Light Peak

    Light Peak, I'm there. Will it still be necessary to transfer data though, by the time it gets here? Maybe the 50 terabyte mass storage will make Light Peak seem slow.

    It's hard to say.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: Vapourware

    It is only vaporware because intel isn't putting it on their motherboards. Or do you consider eSATA to be vaporware because Intel doesn't have it 'built-in'?

    There are USB 3 devices out there, as well as USB 3 cards for your computer.

    And, as of right now, Light Peak is more vaporware than USB 3 is.

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