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Intel backtracks on USB 3

Intel backtracks on USB 3

A report claims Intel will announce USB 3 in its Sandy Bridge chipsets at IDF in a few weeks time.

Intel is set to announce a change of heart at its IDF in just a few weeks time, as it will instead adopt USB 3 in its upcoming Sandy Bridge chipsets.

It appears to be a last minute change due to industry pressure from AMD, which will have USB 3 in its upcoming Fuzion chipsets, thanks to a cooperation with Renesas - the maker of all NEC-branded USB 3 chips used on motherboards to date.

Many motherboard manufacturers already have board designs including third-party NEC and possibly VIA USB 3 chipsets, claims the report in Chinatimes (via Yahoo news in Taiwan, so grab a translator), so these companies will have to decide whether they have time to redesign their motherboards to use the integrated USB3 from Intel's chipset instead.

So far, the report states the change affects Intel 'Cougar Point' chipsets, but it is currently not more specific in terms of which chipsets have changed and how many ports are being provided.

To date Intel has previously been betting on its Light Peak technology as a faster alternative to USB 3, however that's still a way off and the weight of industry adoption already behind USB 3 is claimed to have caused the turn around in attitude.

Let us know your thoughts, in the forums.

34 Comments

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dangerman1337 7th September 2010, 12:47 Quote
Please intel add USB 3.0 headers on the motherboard, PLEASE.
r3loaded 7th September 2010, 13:18 Quote
Finally... >_>
V3ctor 7th September 2010, 13:50 Quote
yay... but I still want Light Peak :D
crazyceo 7th September 2010, 14:13 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by V3ctor
yay... but I still want Light Peak :D

Spot on! Light Peak looks to be the way forward. If USB3 was a DVD then Light Peak would be a BluRay. (Simple explanation for those who don't know what light peak is)
Hakuren 7th September 2010, 14:34 Quote
Simple fact is that Intel realized that LP(or whatever else) will not be on the market for at least next 3-5 years and with every passing day they losing money. With so many USB3 add-on cards and more and more USB3 options with every passing month no-one really cares about USB2 ports anymore.

I guessing that USB3 will hit Intel/LSI/3Ware/Adpatec and similar companies most. USB3 delivers great performance for external HDDs. Finally USB3-RAID is real possibility with great performance and at much, much lower cost. Looking forward to see some (hardware)RAID cards for USB3. Should be interesting. And with LP out later in the decade, eSATA will be dead and buried altogether.
borandi 7th September 2010, 16:02 Quote
All that changes is that by default boards will have USB3. Many already do through the NEC controller. The amount of products using USB3 is still positively minimal.
deathtaker27 7th September 2010, 16:23 Quote
but USB 3 will grow and USB 2 will die off similar to the 1.1 to 2 took a year or two but it did catch on.
Dudey109 7th September 2010, 16:25 Quote
Finally might start seeing USB 3 become more used. USB 2 will still be around for years to come unfortunately.
RichCreedy 7th September 2010, 16:53 Quote
and not forgetting, it isn't going to be a pain to change all your external usb 1.1 / 2.0 devices, as they will still work . so replacement as and when needed.

i have 2 usb3.0 sata hd dock for data transfer, and the speed is much better, than usb2
HourBeforeDawn 7th September 2010, 17:04 Quote
saw that coming lol.
crazyceo 7th September 2010, 17:09 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hakuren
Simple fact is that Intel realized that LP(or whatever else) will not be on the market for at least next 3-5 years and with every passing day they losing money. With so many USB3 add-on cards and more and more USB3 options with every passing month no-one really cares about USB2 ports anymore.

I guessing that USB3 will hit Intel/LSI/3Ware/Adpatec and similar companies most. USB3 delivers great performance for external HDDs. Finally USB3-RAID is real possibility with great performance and at much, much lower cost. Looking forward to see some (hardware)RAID cards for USB3. Should be interesting. And with LP out later in the decade, eSATA will be dead and buried altogether.

Most new intel based motherboards have USB3 anyway and have been benchtested here. Most major manufacturers have also updated their best boards with USB3 (along with Sata6Gbps). So Intel users haven't missed out on anything.
Pandora92 7th September 2010, 19:32 Quote
Pretty happy about this, even in the future when Lightpeak comes out the issue still stands that it's lacking any sort of power supply from the same cable which is what gave USB a lot of it's universal functionality, really the way to go in the future (IMO) is a combination of both, USB3 for most devices that need power from the PC (or those that it would be a problem to have to use a separate socket to power) and don't really need the fastest possible transfer speed, and Lightpeak for peripherals that just focus mostly on bandwidth/speed and that you can use an extra socket to power, an example would be SSDs, if adoption increases in the future (which it almost certainly will) and overall read and right speeds start to exceed USB3's levels then I'm sure a lot of people would rather just use a seperate plug for power and gain the extra bandwidth that Lightpeak provides.
Claave 7th September 2010, 19:35 Quote
I think some people might be slightly missing the point here.

Those third-party USB 3 chips don't come for free, so if you've already designed your motherboard to have one and then Intel integrates USB 3 into its chipset, you either leave the third-party chip and ask your customers to pay double for USB 3 support or you put a load of extra work in to redesign your board. The difference might only be £10, but that can be the difference between selling your board or not. It's not a trivial problem.
Tangster 7th September 2010, 21:59 Quote
Intel should sponsor a new USB standard, USBX-LP. Speed of lightpeak+USB power transfer.
Altron 7th September 2010, 22:26 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tangster
Intel should sponsor a new USB standard, USBX-LP. Speed of lightpeak+USB power transfer.

Why go to optical until we've reached the limits of copper?
wuyanxu 7th September 2010, 23:31 Quote
i forgot, which one is Cougar Point chipset? the higher LGA2011 or the lower LGA1155?
paisa666 8th September 2010, 00:28 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by crazyceo
Quote:
Originally Posted by V3ctor
yay... but I still want Light Peak :D

Spot on! Light Peak looks to be the way forward. If USB3 was a DVD then Light Peak would be a BluRay. (Simple explanation for those who don't know what light peak is)

hmmm... Actually USB 2.0 would be DVD, USB 3.0 HD-DVD and Light Peak BluRay

:P
cyrilthefish 8th September 2010, 00:51 Quote
edit: i completely misread the post i just replied to, don't mind me :p

*hides*
Altron 8th September 2010, 01:16 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by paisa666
hmmm... Actually USB 2.0 would be DVD, USB 3.0 HD-DVD and Light Peak BluRay

:P

Except Blu-Ray players can still play regular DVDs.

If anything, Light Peak is positioned more as an eSATA replacement than a USB replacement. There are boatloads of USB devices that don't need crazy high datarates, but need power.

Mice, keyboards, external sound cards, external NICs, external DVD burners, low-capacity flash storage, cameras, cell phones, printers - none of those need even the full USB 2.0 bus.

Fast external hard drives, Blu-Ray players, and SSDs need high speed. Stuff that normally would have a SATA connection might stand to benefit from Light Peak or another very high-speed standard, like USB 3.0.
impar 8th September 2010, 12:43 Quote
Greetings!

About time Intel gained some sense!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hakuren
Simple fact is that Intel realized that LP(or whatever else) will not be on the market for at least next 3-5 years and with every passing day they losing money.
Yep.
Quote:
Originally Posted by crazyceo
Most new intel based motherboards have USB3 anyway and have been benchtested here. Most major manufacturers have also updated their best boards with USB3 (along with Sata6Gbps). So Intel users haven't missed out on anything.
Most of those implementations make single GPU setups lose PCI Express x16, it reverts to PCI Express x8.
crazyceo 8th September 2010, 12:50 Quote
All Intel are doing here is exactly the same as AMD. Reading the topic AMD have gone to Renesas. The current and new versions of boards have already gone to a third party. So how is this any different? How are we disadvantaged?
impar 8th September 2010, 13:08 Quote
Greetings!
Quote:
Originally Posted by crazyceo
All Intel are doing here is exactly the same as AMD. Reading the topic AMD have gone to Renesas. The current and new versions of boards have already gone to a third party. So how is this any different? How are we disadvantaged?
Define "We"...

Most of the implementations of USB 3.0 and SATA 6Gbps chips on current Intel chipseted MBs make single GPU configuations work at PCI Express 8x, the rest of the bandwidth is used for USB 3.0 and SATA 6Gbps.
AMD is puting USB 3.0 directly on the chipset*, bypassing that limitation. And it seems Intel is following the same path after having insisted on LightPeak.

PS:
* - AMD is currently in talks with Renesas Electronics, which was merged with Japan-based NEC, about the licensing of USB 3.0 technology, and is considering integrating USB 3.0 support in its upcoming Hudson D1 southbridge chipsets, according to sources from notebook makers.
crazyceo 8th September 2010, 16:16 Quote
We, as in the general public.

But we have seen boards here with USB3/Sata6Gbps and GPU configurations working at PCIe 16X and multiple sockets as well.

I really don't see how we (and not the royal we) have been disadvantaged all this time by Intel when I can't see how.
mclean007 8th September 2010, 16:39 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Altron
Fast external hard drives, Blu-Ray players, and SSDs need high speed. Stuff that normally would have a SATA connection might stand to benefit from Light Peak or another very high-speed standard, like USB 3.0.
As far as I know the fastest BR recorder is Pioneer's 12 speed deck, with a maximum theoretical throughput of 432 Mbit/s, i.e. within the 480 Mbit/s rated speed of USB 2. I doubt BR recorder's are going to get much quicker (famous last words??) as adoption seems to have been pretty lackluster so far, at least in the consumer space. I for one don't have a BR recorder, and can't remember the last time I burned a CD or DVD - why bother with cheap big flash drives (physically much smaller, reusable, don't need a drive at the other end, more robust and more convenient) for moving files and external HDDs for backup?

Otherwise, I agree - external HDDs and SSDs will benefit from USB 3 or Light Peak, but to be honest the backwards compatibility of USB 3 is likely to see it win mass adoption. I see Light Peak going the way of Firewire - lots of love from video pros, otherwise limited adoption.
Altron 8th September 2010, 18:32 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by mclean007
As far as I know the fastest BR recorder is Pioneer's 12 speed deck, with a maximum theoretical throughput of 432 Mbit/s, i.e. within the 480 Mbit/s rated speed of USB 2. I doubt BR recorder's are going to get much quicker (famous last words??) as adoption seems to have been pretty lackluster so far, at least in the consumer space. I for one don't have a BR recorder, and can't remember the last time I burned a CD or DVD - why bother with cheap big flash drives (physically much smaller, reusable, don't need a drive at the other end, more robust and more convenient) for moving files and external HDDs for backup?

Otherwise, I agree - external HDDs and SSDs will benefit from USB 3 or Light Peak, but to be honest the backwards compatibility of USB 3 is likely to see it win mass adoption. I see Light Peak going the way of Firewire - lots of love from video pros, otherwise limited adoption.

Fiber home networking or fiber HD-video streaming, or fiber home backups, it makes sense.

The advantages of fiber is that it's more robust and has less attenuation. You can fit a lot more data onto a single fiber strand than you can a single copper conductor, and you can go miles and miles before attenuation hits, or you become dispersion-limited.

If you have very long arms, and want your mouse to be 50m from the PC instead of the usual 5m limit of USB, then optical might be nice. But for the short distances that most peripherals are, you're not running into problems with copper.
murtoz 9th September 2010, 00:07 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by crazyceo
But we have seen boards here with USB3/Sata6Gbps and GPU configurations working at PCIe 16X and multiple sockets as well.

I really don't see how we (and not the royal we) have been disadvantaged all this time by Intel when I can't see how.
Because the board manufacturers (NOT intel) add additional chips to the board next to the intel chipset to enable this.
For which WE the consumer have to pay. Someone above said it very well... board manufacturers have to decide whether they want lower BOM costs & more redisgn work - or higher BOM costs but no redesign.

My guess is they will mostly redesign... (fingers crossed)
crazyceo 9th September 2010, 09:14 Quote
So all Intel are doing is adding USB3 to their chipset and cutting out the third party providers or are they just linking up with a third party like AMD have done? It isn't exactly clear what they are doing.

How much of a difference will this make to the overall cost to us? or will the manufacturers just absorb that into their profits and not pass it on to us? Making no difference to us at all.
impar 9th September 2010, 10:23 Quote
Greetings!
Quote:
Originally Posted by crazyceo
How much of a difference will this make to the overall cost to us?
USB 3.0 capable motherboards will be cheaper to us once Intel motherboard reference designs incorporate USB 3.0 via chipset. There will be no need for motherboard manufacturers to create their own USB 3.0 solutions.
crazyceo 9th September 2010, 13:46 Quote
I'm not convinced it will to be honest. If a Gigabyte GA-H55M-UD2H costs £73 currently on Aria and the Gigabyte GA-H55M-USB3 is £85 on Aria, would we really see that drop with Intel incorporating USB3 via their chipset? Wouldn't Intel just increase their cost to the manufacturer?

(I know it's not an exact comparison but it's pretty damn close)
impar 9th September 2010, 14:00 Quote
Greetings!
Quote:
Originally Posted by crazyceo
If a Gigabyte GA-H55M-UD2H costs £73 currently on Aria and the Gigabyte GA-H55M-USB3 is £85 on Aria, would we really see that drop with Intel incorporating USB3 via their chipset? Wouldn't Intel just increase their cost to the manufacturer?
Sure, Intel would increase its chipset price to the manufacturer, compared to the USB 2.0 chipset.
But the manufacturer wouldnt have to buy a USB 3.0 from NEC (or whatever...) and would not have to redesign the MB layout.
So the price would sit between 73 and 85.
Fusioncat 19th September 2010, 07:14 Quote
Guys, humbly forget USB 3.0. Why?
Lightpeak has speed
eSATAp (eSATA/USB) has compatibility, speed, economical
Implementing eSATAp simply requires a ZERO driver USD 12 Delock bracket
eSATAp can be Hotswap! (Freeware)
99% of machines/HDD/SSD/DVD/Blueray have SATA port
50% of the notebook/pc now have eSATAp
80% of the NAS have eSATA (port multiplier)
eSATAp can operate in IDE mode, no need BIOS ahci or OS registry tweak
NCIX and Crunchgear have proven eSATAp is as fast if not faster than USB 3.0
Cthippo 20th September 2010, 08:41 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fusioncat
Guys, humbly forget USB 3.0. Why?
Lightpeak has speed
eSATAp (eSATA/USB) has compatibility, speed, economical
Implementing eSATAp simply requires a ZERO driver USD 12 Delock bracket
eSATAp can be Hotswap! (Freeware)
99% of machines/HDD/SSD/DVD/Blueray have SATA port
50% of the notebook/pc now have eSATAp
80% of the NAS have eSATA (port multiplier)
eSATAp can operate in IDE mode, no need BIOS ahci or OS registry tweak
NCIX and Crunchgear have proven eSATAp is as fast if not faster than USB 3.0

Great, but are they going to put eSATA on phones or MP3 players or those stupid little USB fans, or those really cool USB dart launchers?

As you point out, USB3 has it's disadvantages for large data transfers, but it has the big advantage of being, well, universal. Unless a lot of things change, you're not going to unplug your external hard drive from your eSATA port and plug in your new mouse. eSATA is only good for one thing, moving lots of data fast, USB is good for lots and lots of things, even if it is a little slower.
impar 20th September 2010, 11:00 Quote
Greetings!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cthippo
As you point out, USB3 has it's disadvantages for large data transfers, but it has the big advantage of being, well, universal.
And lets not forget it is compatible with previous USB versions.
Horden 28th October 2010, 18:31 Quote
USB 3.0 should lead the way until Intels Light Peak without a doubt.
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