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Intel unveils USB 3.0 draft specification

Posted on Wednesday, August 13 2008 @ 21:30:03 CEST by

Intel Corporation today announced the availability of the Extensible Host Controller Interface (xHCI) draft specification revision 0.9 in support of the USB 3.0 architecture, also known as SuperSpeed USB. The xHCI draft specification provides a standardized method for USB 3.0 host controllers to communicate with the USB 3.0 software stack.

Interoperability among devices from multiple manufacturers is important for consumer adoption of SuperSpeed USB products. The Intel xHCI draft specification revision 0.9 supports compatibility among various implementations of USB devices and will make it easier to develop software support for the industry.

This specification describes the registers and data structures used to interface between system software and the hardware, and are developed to be compatible with the USB 3.0 specification being developed by the USB 3.0 Promoter Group. The Intel xHCI draft specification revision 0.9 is being made available under RAND-Z (royalty free) licensing terms to all USB 3.0 Promoter Group and contributor companies that sign an xHCI contributor agreement; information is available online from Intel Corporation at www.intel.com/technology/usb/spec.htm.

"The future of computing and consumer devices is increasingly visual and bandwidth intensive," said Phil Eisler, AMD corporate vice president and general manager of the Chipset Business Unit. "Lifestyles filled with HD media and digital audio demand quick and universal data transfer. USB 3.0 is an answer to the future bandwidth need of the PC platform. AMD believes strongly in open industry standards, and therefore is supporting a common xHCI specification."

"Dell welcomes the availability of Intel's xHCI specification because it provides a single interface standard that will expedite the industry transition to next-generation USB 3.0," said Rick Schuckle, client architecture strategist. "This interface standard is important to ensure that our customers have interoperable USB 3.0 systems, devices and software drivers."

"Microsoft has developed driver support for the USB industry standard since its inception and is committed to supporting the latest hardware technologies on the Windows platform," said Chuck Chan, Microsoft general manager of Windows Core OS. "Microsoft intends to deliver Windows support for hardware that is compliant with the xHCI specification; this is a huge step forward in enabling the industry and our customers to easily connect SuperSpeed USB devices to their PCs for exciting new functionality and usages."

"NEC Electronics has supported Intel's EHCI specification for USB 2.0 and WHCI specification for Wireless USB 1.0, and developed solutions based on both of these standards," said Hiroshi Iguchi, NEC Electronics vice president of its 2nd SOC Operations Unit. "NEC Electronics will now provide USB 3.0 solutions based on Intel's xHCI specification to ensure interoperability of our solution with multiple products from various manufacturers. As we have done for USB 2.0, NEC Electronics would like to lead the USB 3.0 market with our discrete USB 3.0 host controller."

Intel plans to make available a revised xHCI 0.95 specification in the fourth quarter. The updated revision of the specification will also be released under RAND-Z licensing terms via an xHCI adopter's agreement.



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