As we know, AMD has already certified through USB-IF its first chipsets with integrated SuperSpeed USB (USB 3.0) controllers. Analysts say, chipsets supporting USB 3.0 will play a key role in spreading of a new interface.
Intel is expected to enable supports for USB 3.0 in its chips in 2012. This means the company shows its intentions to developers and manufacturers to support USB as well as self-developed interface — Thunderbolt.
Intel architecture vice president Kirk Skaugen informed the media at Intel Developers conference:
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.
Kirk Skaugen’s words about “2012 client platform” refer to platform featuring processors currently known as Ivy Bridge. Regarding Thunderbolt support, Intel plans to release developer kits that could help device makers accelerate the release of products to market. There is yet no words about Thunderbolt integration into chipsets.
Industry sources believe that Intel’s decision to supports USB 3.0 and talks about two interfaces supplementing each other is explained as company’s will to minimize the risks of placing all the eggs into one basket. At the same time, although USB 3.0 gains popularity fast and products with Thunderbolts is scarce now, in future, USB 3.0 can become more transitional technology while the Thunderbolt can take all the glory.