USB 3 creeps closer

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Intel has released a new set of tools which will allow hardware vendors to build chips for the upcoming version of the USB interface..

The Extensible Host Controller Interface (xHCI) draft specification allows the USB host controllers to communicate with a software stack, allowing developers to communicate with the USB 3 hardware and build controller chips for devices.

Intel described the interface as a simplified kit for integrating the 'SuperSpeed' USB connections.

"This is a 'Dummies Guide' to building silicon chips that support the new USB 3.0 standard," the company said.

"The industry is keen to adopt a single standard in order to ensure great interoperability between USB 3.0 devices."

Intel is hoping to push USB 3.0 as the connection standard for HD media devices that are demanding larger pipelines for data transfers. First unveiled at IDF in 2007, the new system supports speeds of up to 4.8Gb/s, compared to the 480Mb/s speed of the USB 2.0 standard.

The company counts Microsoft, AMD, Dell and nVidia amongst the early backers for SuperSpeed USB.

Intel hopes to release the next xHCI draft specification by the end of the year.

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