Intel denies withholding USB 3.0 specs

Posted by Humphrey Cheung

Santa Clara (CA) – Intel is trying to nip rumors of any feet dragging on a new USB 3.0 specification.  In a blog post by the company’s Nick Knupffer, the company differentiates its efforts in making a host controller versus the effort of the USB 3.0 Standards Body.  Knupffer adds that Intel will make the host controller standards available in the second half of 2008 royalty-free or in his words “free, gratis, unpaid, zero dollars, free of charge, at no cost, on the house.”

USB 3.0 will be a new higher-speed wired interface that several motherboard and chipset makers are just chomping at the bit to implement.  Knupffer says there are two separate development efforts that some reporters seem to be confused about.  The main USB 3.0 specification is being developed by the USB 3.0 promotion  group which includes major companies like HP, Intel, MSFT, NEC, NXP, and TI.  This spec should be available in the second half of 2008.

Intel is working on its own host controller and specification something which Knupffer says is costing the company loads of money.  “Think gazillions of dollars and bazillions of engineering man hours,” he said – ok maybe he’s exaggerating just a tad on that one.  He calls this specification a sort of “Dummies Guide” on how to build a compatible USB 3.0 piece of silicon.

While some have accused Intel of holding back on this specification, Knupffer says the company just wants to make sure the specification is robust enough to prevent any major hardware conflicts.  He adds that the entire spec will be available for free later in 2008.