With Apple CEO Steve Jobs hammering that USB 3.0 hasn’t appeared in Macs due to the lack of Intel support for the faster standard, Intel is responding as the chip-maker has reportedly given OEMs details of its Chief River platform for notebooks. Chief River brings a number of improvements over the current Intel CPU architecture, including a 22 nm process, but the big news is that it will be the first Intel CPU to offer native USB 3.0 support. The catch is that the design won’t enter mass production until September 2011, meaning that OEMs won’t ship products until early 2012. Although there are a limited number of USB 3.0 products on the market today, we probably won’t see mass scale adoption of this faster protocol until Chief River launches in newer generation notebooks.
When we had attended the media day at Lenovo’s U.S. campus in North Carolina, we were told the same thing–that USB 3.0 adoption won’t pick up until Intel supports it at the chip level. It looks like with Chief River, we may see some exciting notebooks, laptops, and portables with the faster USB 3.0 standard at CES 2012.