updated 11:05 pm EST, Thu December 15, 2011
Statement confirms earlier reports
Confirming earlier reports, the USB Implementers Forum has made a formal announcement that Intel's upcoming Ivy Bridge chipset has received certification for USB 3.0. The confirmation notes that the company's i7-series chipsets will be capable of supporting up to four USB 3.0 ports.
Intel in April announced USB 3.0 support for Ivy Bridge components, however some rumors suggested the standard was competing directly with Thunderbolt. The company's architecture group VP, Kirk Skaugen, worked to downplay potential conflicts, claiming the two standards were complementary.
USB 3.0 support is expected to be extended to notebook and desktop chipsets. A recent leak suggests Apple is working on an Ivy Bridge-based MacBook Air that will integrate a 2GHz processor, however it remains unclear if the device will include a USB 3.0 port alongside the Thunderbolt port that now adorns all of Apple's latest computers.
Intel is already said to be providing Ivy Bridge components to manufacturers on a test basis, with the first devices to arrive on the market early in 2012.