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Intel Chipset to Finally Embed a USB 3.0 Controller
Nothing in the PC platform really becomes an industry standard before Intel embraces it. Same is the case with USB 3.0, which, over an year after its entry into the industry, has seen limited market adoption and motherboard integration, driven mostly by 2-port PCI-E controllers. Internal presentation slides [PRBREAK][/PRBREAK]sourced by Heise show that the Panther Point chipset, which drives Intel's Ivy Bridge processors, embeds a 4-port XHCI compatible USB 3.0 SuperSpeed controller. The controller sits aside two EHCI USB 2.0 controllers, and shares 4 ports over a USB hub. So, out of the 14 USB ports from the chipset, 4 will be SuperSpeed capable.
Panther Point is the codename of Intel's 7-series platform controller hub (PCH) chipset, which could carry the common market model names P77 and H77. The chipsets will drive Intel's Ivy Bridge processors. Ivy Bridge is a die-shrunk Sandy Bridge, which will be fabricated using the 22 nm lithography. It will form the back bone of Intel's 3rd generation Core processors slated for release at CES 2012.