Intel is an innovator in the computer market and has been for years, despite issues with anticompetitive practices around the world. Intel currently supports USB 2.0 and other connectivity like FireWire and eSATA in its mobile chipsets.
However, Intel has not offered support for the new USB 3.0 interface in its chipsets and the few machines on the market with USB 3.0 support are doing so using third-party chipsets. On-chip support for USB 3.0 from Intel is thought to be as far out as 2012. Intel is talking up its own much faster competing standard to USB 3.0 known as Light Peak. Light Peak first surfaced earlier this year and was thought to be coming in late 2010.
That date was later pushed and CNET News reports that Light Peak is now ready to hit the market by the middle of 2011. One industry source cited by CNET claims that support will come in the first part of the year, not the later part meaning it could be right around the corner.
Light Peak is much faster than USB 3.0 with speeds up to 10Gbps. Industry heavyweight Apple is not supporting USB 3.0 on its computers, but it is expected to fully support Light Peak and the thought is that Apple may even be the first computer maker to offer the tech on a computer. Intel has already stated when Light Peak was first unveiled that "Apple is an innovating force in the industry."
Officially Intel still has plans to support USB 3.0 reports CNET. An Intel spokesperson said, "We are absolutely committed to USB 3.0 and beyond that." Exactly when that commitment will start is the big question and it appears the start will be after Light Peak has time to take hold in the market.