Intel Will Have Native USB 3.0 on Ivy Bridge

Posted by at 10:58 am on April 14, 2011

Intel during the Developer Forum in Beijing confirmed late Wednesday that its 2012 processor architecture would have native USB 3.0 support. Architecture group VP Kirk Skaugen explained that Ivy Bridge, a 22 nanometer version of the Sandy Bridge design used in today’s Core processors, should support the interface.

The support should be available in both the notebook and desktop chipsets, codenamed Chief River and Panther Point. Both and their matching Ivy Bridge processors are due in early 2012 and will likely ship in time for the CES 2012.

Intel has been unusually conservative with USB 3.0 despite having been a key architect for the original USB standard. Some had speculated that Intel was trying to drive support of Thunderbolt, but the company had already grafted on support by using an NEC controller chipset, the only real chipset early on, for certain desktop mainboards. AMD pledged itself this week to supporting USB 3.0 with its Fusion-based processors.

Thunderbolt will feel competitive heat from USB 3.0 since its bandwidth is only twice as fast as USB 3.0.

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