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AMD and nVidia collaborate on USB3.0 controllers

AMD and nVidia jointly develop USB 3.0 controller, claiming Intel is refusing to share specifications.

Component vendors AMD and nVidia have joined forces to develop an open host Universal Serial Bus (USB) 3.0 controller, claiming that chip giant Intel isn’t sharing its USB3.0 controller specs.

The USB3.0 specification is expected to be finalised in 2009 and the latest revision of the spec makes the forthcoming interface significantly faster than the already avaialbleUSB2.0.

A data bandwidth gain of ten times is claimed, which means that data throughputs of 5 Gbps can be expected. Staff at Intel claim the firm will share its USB3.0 controller specifications and details once the controller is complete and ready for release.

Both AMD and nVidia are going ahead with their own host controllers however claiming that, by withholding its USB3.0 specification, Intel is giving itself a market advantage of six to nine months.

Both AMD and nVidia have also pointed out that developing a second host controller could result in incompatibilities between USB3.0 products and controllers when they are released.

USB3.0 is also being called ‘PCI Express over cable’ as the specification uses intellectual property sourced from the PCI Special Interests Group (PCI SIG).

The USB interface is supported and promoted by the USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF), which has been responsible for the spec since the first version – 1.1 – was launched on the market. USB is a connection interface used extensively to connect external peripherals and devices to a computer.

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