New USB 3.0 chips delay feared

Threat to price drops necessary for mass adoption
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New less expensive USB 3.0 chips look set to be delayed according to Taiwanese-based motherboard manufacturers.

The DigiTimes reported that the next-generation USB parts had been due to arrive before the end of 2010 but have still yet to pass USB Implementers Forum certification. New chips from Asus, VIA, Etron and Fesco Logic are thought to be delayed.

"The technical difficulty for the USB 3.0 chips in terms of hardware, plus the fact chip designers are required to design their own USB 3.0 software because Windows 7 does not natively support the technology has caused the design houses to delay their mass shipment schedule," said DigiTimes.

NEC presently has the lion's share of the USB 3.0 chip market with NEC parts being used to provide the faster speeds in a variety of devices from motherboards to external storage devices.

Competition among chip designers for new technology generally results in prices being driven down and a reduction in prices in the market. Regardless of the delays, Asus is expected to buy around 15 million of the NEC USB 3.0 ports in 2011.

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