After a lot of criticism from the industry Intel today released a draft version of the controller interface spec for USB 3.0, the next generation of its peripheral format. The information provides a guide for hardware makers to relay information from the USB controller hardware to the software that manages it and helps settle a dispute triggered by AMD and NVIDIA, which accused Intel of knowingly withholding information about the interface to give systems based on Intel hardware an advantage over those using rival copmonents.
The specification is under license but doesn't include a royalty, allowing AMD and other companies wanting to promote USB 3.0 to use the technology without having to pay Intel a recurring fee for support. AMD mentions in the announcement that it supports the publication as part of an open standard.
Publishing the information lets computer part builders start sooner on integrating USB 3.0 into finished hardware, which is most likely to appear sometime in 2009. The connection standard is also known as SuperSpeed USB and is planned to deliver over ten times more bandwidth than USB 2.0, peaking at up to 5Gbps and potentially eclipsing the rival FireWire 3200 spec in practical output.
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