Is Intel delaying USB 3.0 to give Light Peak an advantage?

Summary:Interesting news from chip giant Intel - the company is delaying its USB 3.0 motherboard chipset until 2012 ... the company wouldn't be trying to make a gap in the market for its Light Peak standard, would it?

Interesting news from chip giant Intel - the company is delaying its USB 3.0 motherboard chipset until 2012.

Gigabyte confirmed Intel's USB 3.0 chipset will be delayed until 2012. There's no reason given.

The USB 3.0 spec was introduced in November of last year and is designed to serve as a replacement for the aging USB 2.0 standard (which was released in April of 2000). It offers a significant performance boost (up to 4.8Gbit/s) for those wanting to transfer a lot of data to external storage devices.

Now, this delay is interesting for a number of reasons. First, there are plenty of vendors already shipping USB 3.0 motherboards. Asus, Gigabyte and ASRock already have USB 3.0 compatible boards for sale. Given that these vendors can integrate USB 3.0 into their products, it's hard to imagine that the world's largest chip maker would have any problems getting this standard worked out.

Another reason why this delay is interesting is that Intel has its own connection standard that it's trying to push - Light Peak. Intel wouldn't be trying to make a gap in the market for this standard, would it?

Light Peak does have advantages over USB 3.0. It's more than twice as fast, offering a transfer rate of 10 Gbit/s. Secondly the optical cabling can carry the signal 100 meters. And thirdly, and I think most significantly, a single cable can carry multiple protocols simultaneously (so effectively you could push USB, SATA, HDMI, DVI, and PCI-E all down the same pipe).

I can't think of a single valid technical reason why Intel would delay integrating USB 3.0 ... other than to try to give Light Peak an advantage.

Topics: Intel, Hardware

About

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes is an internationally published technology author who has devoted over a decade to helping users get the most from technology -- whether that be by learning to program, building a PC from a pile of parts, or helping them get the most from their new MP3 player or digital camera.Adrian has authored/co-authored technic... Full Bio

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