From 2012, all Intel Windows-based PCs will feature USB 3.0 as standard. The news comes after it was confirmed that the 'Ivy Bridge' 7 Series Chipset and other Intel chipsets have achieved USB 3.0 certification.
Otherwise known as SuperSpeed USB, USB 3.0 allows for data transfer that is ten times faster than that offered by USB 2.0, as well as improved power efficiency. This is, therefore, seen to be a significant landmark for the PC industry, making data transfer easier for PC users.
Until now, the availability of USB 3.0 has been restricted to select laptops and PCs. Furthermore, USB 3.0 has required chips from Advanced Micro Devices.
Although the introduction of USB 3.0 promises to be a real landmark for the industry, there have been widespread reports of consumers having trouble using the new technology. Most commonly, users of USB 3.0 equipment transfer data at USB 2.0 speed, which is often accompanied by a message that reads: "This USB Mass Storage Device can transfer information faster if you connect it to a Super-Speed USB 3.0 port."
But in a statement, Ahmad Zaidi, general manager of Intel's Chipset and SoC IP Group, explained: "SuperSpeed USB certification ... helps ensure interoperability and backward compatibility within the broad USB ecosystem."
Meanwhile, Brian O'Rourke, research director for In-Stat, the internationally respected research firm, suggested that when USB 3.0 is integrated into Intel's chipsets, it will make the standard universal.
"Intel's integration of SuperSpeed USB into its upcoming core logic chipset is critical because it allows cost-conscious PC (makers) to offer the technology at a very competitive price point," Mr O'Rourke said. "Additionally, SuperSpeed USB adoption in PCs is leading to broad adoption in PC peripherals, consumer electronics, and mobile devices."
Allied to this, Intel offers an alternative high-speed connection technology known as Thunderbolt, which can be found on Apple MacBooks. Thunderbolt, though, is not expected to be used as widely as USB 3.0 in 2012.
Microsoft, meanwhile, has already confirmed that its newest operating system, Windows 8, will have inbuilt support for USB 3.0. It remains to be seen, though, whether USB 3.0 can be successfully implemented by Intel.