Third time lucky
Intel will be showing off some USB 3.0 enabled goodies at the firm's Developer Forum (IDF) in San Francisco next week, according to the USB Implementers Forum.
On display will be a Fujitsu laptop, the first of its kind to boast the new USB 3.0 spec, using a "host controller" chip from NEC Electronics which will swap data with an external "SuperSpeed USB drive" from Buffalo Technology.
A prototype high-performance digital video camera from Point Grey Research sporting a three megapixel Sony "IMX036" CMOS image sensor capable of outputing 1080p high-definition images at 60 frames per second will also be on show, streaming uncompressed HD video to a laptop via a USB 3.0 ExpressCard from Fresco Logic.
For its part, Asus will be rolling out an early sample SuperSpeed USB mainboard, which also uses an NEC chip to swap data with a LucidPort USB 3.0 device. LucidPort's offering runs the new USB Attached SCSI Protocol (UASP) to purportedly up performance and reduce latency. The first Mother Boards with USB 3.0 will be based on the Intel P55 and X58 chipsets.
USB 3.0 has earned itself the name "Superspeed USB" thanks to its 5Gb/s data transfer rates, which are some 10 times faster (and more power efficient) than current USB 2.0. Intel is part of the standards body that decided what the spec should be, so the firm will likely try to claim it as its own, despite the fact some 500 companies - including Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft, NEC, ST-Ericsson, and Texas Instruments - have contributed extensively to the spec's IP, device controllers, drivers etc.
USB 3.0 enabled Consumer electronics should hit the market later this year or by early 2010, but motherboard makers like Asus and Gigabyte are already pressing ahead to get the spec integrated into boards set for release in October.
However, it's still unclear when Intel will integrate Superspeed USB into its South Bridge, despite rumours AMD chipsets will have it integrated onboard by H1 of 2010.