updated 12:00 pm EDT, Thu June 12, 2008
AMD Intel Fight Over USB 3
Intel on Thursday issued a response to what it says are "myths" circulating its control of the upcoming USB 3.0 standard. Following accusations by AMD and nForce board maker NVIDIA that Intel was deliberately withholding details of the host controller for USB to give its own products an edge, Intel hopes to refute claims of sabotaging rivals' efforts by arguing that it's part of a larger group promoting the format and that it has no financial incentive to hold back on the host controller itself. The company still plans to license its host controller for free, says Intel's Nick Knupffer.
"Intel plans to make this spec available early in second half of 2008 with a no-royalty licensing obligation," he says. "This isn't only because we are just nice guys, but it is also because Intel has set the bar for technology leadership and industry stewardship... [plus] we at Intel love it when available processor performance is used to the max."
The semiconductor firm also notes that there are technical concerns keeping the host controller, which manages traffic between the USB interface and the main computer, from being released until the later part of the year. Intel is allegedly concerned that rushed development could lead to malfuctioning devices in the future and that the specification needs to be "fully developed and mature" before it can launch elsewhere, according to Knupffer.
AMD and NVIDIA have argued that Intel's delays would force them to create an open host controller standard that could be in development as early as this week. The technology would minimize the lag for USB 3.0-ready mainboard chipsets from AMD and Intel at the potential risk of rendering some devices incompatible with non-Intel systems.
USB 3.0 is slated to be as much as ten times faster than 2.0, peaking at 5Gbps, and should also better handle low-power devices than earlier versions. [image via Tech-On]