AMD, NVIDIA to create their own USB 3.0 specification?

Posted on Saturday, Jun 07 2008 @ 00:43 CEST by Thomas De Maesschalck
There's some controversy about the development of the USB 3.0 specification. CNET writes a source close to AMD thinks Intel won't give them the USB 3.0 specification in time and says this decision forces AMD, NVIDIA, VIA and other companies to create their own open USB 3.0 specification. This secondary USB 3.0 specification will be designed to be compatible with Intel's USB 3.0 spec but it will still be bad for users as this secondary spec has the potential to create incompatibilities.
Intel is slated to release its specifications at the end of this year or the beginning of next year. The problem, as AMD and Nvidia see it, is that Intel would virtually own the USB 3.0 market--a powerful competitive advantage--for many months if they waited for Intel to release the so-called host controller layer specification. "Tack on six to nine months. Then we get USB 3.0," the source close to AMD said.

This person described USB 3.0 as "essentially PCI Express over a cable. And that intellectual property came from the PCI SIG"--the point being that Intel does not have a large intellectual property stake to defend. PCI Express is a data transfer specification for add-in card slots in desktop PCs today.

Intel doesn't see it this way. A source close to that company speaking from Computex takes issue with the claim that Intel doesn't do the work. "We do the work--at this point it's not an industry effort anymore--and then (we) hand over the work for free without any licenses."

"Intel only gives it out once it's finished. And it's not finished." said the source. "If it was mature enough to release, it would be released." (AMD and Nvidia claim that Intel has working silicon and thus the host controller layer specification is mature enough for release.)

"If you have an incomplete spec and give it out to people, these people will build their chipsets and you'll end up with chipsets that are incompatible with devices. That's what (Intel) is trying to avoid."
Products with USB 3.0 will be released next year, this new interface will offer ten times more bandwidth than USB 2.0.

About the Author

Thomas De Maesschalck

Thomas has been messing with computer since early childhood and firmly believes the Internet is the best thing since sliced bread. Enjoys playing with new tech, is fascinated by science, and passionate about financial markets. When not behind a computer, he can be found with running shoes on or lifting heavy weights in the weight room.

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