Intel: USB 3.0 in 2012 with 'Thunderbolt'

Intel went on the record today saying that its silicon will support USB 3.0 in 2012 and urged developers to target both USB and its new "Thunderbolt" technology.

"Intel is going to support USB 3.0 in the 2012 client platform. We're going to support Thunderbolt capability. We believe they're complementary," said Kirk Skaugen, a vice president at the Intel Architecture Group, speaking at Intel's developer conference in Beijing today. The event was streamed over the Web.

Intel's 2012 Ivy Bridge technology will put USB 3.0 directly into the Intel chips--referred to as chipsets--that accompany the main Ivy Bridge processor, making USB 3.0 available universally across all types of computing devices, including laptops. Not unlike what Intel did back in 2002.

And with Advanced Micro Devices also on board, USB 3.0 appears on track for industry-wide adoption--finally. AMD said yesterday that the chipsets that come with its Fusion processors will support USB 3.0.

But USB 3.0 is only half of the connection story for Intel. Skaugen was careful to point out that developers of peripheral devices like printers, scanners, and cameras should target both USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt--the latter a new connection technology that combines high-speed data transfer and high-definition video on a single cable and runs at a peak speed of 10 gigabits per second. Apple uses Thunderbolt connectors on its MacBook Pro laptops.

More Intel: USB 3.0 in 2012 with 'Thunderbolt'

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