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

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?

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TOPICS: Intel, Hardware
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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

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15 comments
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  • RE: Is Intel delaying USB 3.0 to give Light Peek an advantage?

    Sometimes it is about pushing the better idea. How many better products lost out, due to marketing, over the years?
    Rick_K
    • Like Blu-Ray. What a horrible specification. [nt]

      [nt]
      olePigeon
  • Light peek is awesome. when is it due out?

    I really want to see it show up in TV's and computers. I hope its 2010 or early 2011.
    Johnny Vegas
  • Yes, but does it replace USB?

    From what i understand, they had not figured out how to deal with the power requirements built into usb 2.0.
    Been_Done_Before
    • LightPeak cables carry power...

      ... and for longer runs, you can use AC adapters on whatever hub you're connecting to.

      I really want to see LightPeak win this battle, as it is a better standard than USB 3.0 by far - better throughput, less processor utilization, support of every data protocol known to man (and those we haven't thought of yet that can be run in the available bandwidth).
      nix_hed
      • RE: Is Intel delaying USB 3.0 to give Light Peek an advantage?

        @nix_hed

        Agreed - I'd like to see LightPeak win too. But why can't we have both? I'd prefer them to release USB 3 now, rather than attempt to force me to wait for LightPeak. For those who can't postpone their drive purchases until LightPeak ships, this seems likely to drive customers away from Intel boards.
        1DaveN
  • RE: Is Intel delaying USB 3.0 to give Light Peek an advantage?

    i vote light peak. instead of taking baby steps with technology, lets 'leapfrog' this time
    jw266@...
  • RE: Is Intel delaying USB 3.0 to give Light Peek an advantage?

    I really hope "light peek" becomes main strain, I do not know why they try to down play USB 3.0, being that it is backwards compatible it serves as a way to get extra speed and power on new devices, while still being able to support old devices as we make the move to light peek.
    guilderw@...
  • The Tell

    Adrian,
    The fact that you even consider the option the Intel is doing this for the sake of its own standard tells you how sick the CPU market is. No company with less than 90% of the market would ever have a chance at making this work.
    daengbo
  • Light Peak - Yes. Then go full optic CPU

    Once the Light Peak gets installed - look for the next device - the CPU - to be replaced with optic technology computing.

    Good stuff ! Go for it Intel.
    Donald.Nagy@...
  • RE: Is Intel delaying USB 3.0 to give Light Peek an advantage?

    yeah i think that's the reason as well. light peak looks like it could bring something of a revolution. it's hard to believe it's been 10 years and 2.0 is still the standard. 10 years! that's 3 lifetimes by technology standards.
    anonymous
  • RE: Is Intel delaying USB 3.0 to give Light Peek an advantage?

    I think Light Peak would make an interesting addition to USB 3.0.

    The USB connection is a requirement for backwards compatibility and legacy hardware. But the aspect of the multiple protocols is what I find exciting.

    Why not have both? I've had Firewire and USB on motherboards for years and I've never owned a device that needed Firewire, but I've always appreciated the flexibility to be able to get such a device, or use one if I needed it.

    And... can some one please moderate the "Advertisers" off the comments. Please!
    Username_Again
  • RE: Is Intel delaying USB 3.0 to give Light Peek an advantage?

    Interesting that you still don't see much USB3 devices [and I think few will care about a USB3 keyboard or mouse].

    Maybe Intel detected issues with USB3 and their mobos. I bought an Asus P7P55D-E series mobo with USB3 support [one of the first]. While not useful now, I'll suume they will be eventually.
    Gis Bun
  • Intel has the resources to do both.

    The company is big enough and financially strong enough to launch both simultaneously, or to release them in either order it desires, so obviously this is a move to displace USB and start the weaning process before the installed base of USB 3.0 devices makes folks think twice about investing in yet another technology.
    Ken Whitmore
  • Logic would dictate...

    ...That if Light Peak is so superior, then Intel shouldn't have to worry about competition from USB 3.0. This is not a Beta/VHS battle; the technologically savvy WILL use whatever is best, if it is indeed best.

    Of course, I'm finding that big corporations rarely use logic any more...
    Zorched