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Intel-powered notebooks won’t support USB 3.0 until 2012

by Pete Mason on 1 November 2010, 17:38

Tags: Intel (NASDAQ:INTC), Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL)

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Even as USB 3.0 becomes more common on motherboards and on external devices, Intel remains hesitant on providing native support on its chipsets. Though desktop motherboards that launch alongside the Sand Bridge platform early next year will all include the interface, the latest buzz is suggesting that notebook users will be left with USB 2.0 until 2012.

Digitimes is reporting that the chip-giant recently briefed its partners on the Chief River platform that will accompany the Ivy Bridge mobile CPUs. This is of course the 22nm die-shrink of the Sandy Bridge architecture that will launch soon for desktops and early next year for notebooks. Little was previously known about the Chief River platform, though the source is reporting that mass production will begin in September 2011 with product launches occurring in January 2012 - probably around CES.

This is obviously bad news for anyone holding out hope for a USB 3.0-ready Huron River laptop in the new year, though a lack of native support hasn't stopped some manufacturers from including third-party controllers in the past. However, it's likely to be very bad news for anyone hoping to buy a USB 3.0-ready Mac.

According to 9to5Mac, when a reader e-mailed Steve Jobs to enquire about why he couldn't buy an Apple computer with the interface, he received the reply, "we don't see USB 3 taking off at this time. No support from Intel, for example". While this isn't definitive, it seems likely - assuming Apple continues to use Intel CPUs - that Macs sporting USB 3.0 won't be a reality until the chip-supplier starts including native support in its mobile chipsets.



HEXUS Forums :: 10 Comments

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My guess is it's a power thing - Intel doesn't want to push up the power consumption of its latest chipset because on the current process node USB 3.0 is still a bit hungry.

Besides, 480Mbps is enough for anyone. ;)
Steve
Besides, 480Mbps is enough for anyone. ;)
I am reporting that as flamebait ;)
It's a pain for me though, I am in a market for new laptop, and size and GPU aside, connectivity is very important to me. I won't consider a laptop without 3 USB ports with at least one port that's sufficiently fast to keep up with an external HD (eSATA or USB3).
I wonder how much power demand Lightpeak will add to the chipset compared to USB 3.0.
Pete, it would be very useful if you told us where we can voice our criticism to intel. I will try to find their feedback page later if i get some time. Without them coming up with a final usb 3 header pinout design, no company will commit themselves to usb3
semo
Pete, it would be very useful if you told us where we can voice our criticism to intel. I will try to find their feedback page later if i get some time. Without them coming up with a final usb 3 header pinout design, no company will commit themselves to usb3


If I knew, I'd tell you!

Unfortunately, Intel doesn't have an Apple-esque direct line/e-mail to the CEO.