Intel announced its long-awaited xHCI open USB 3.0 host controller standard, which will likely be adopted by the vast majority of motherboard chipset and add-on card vendors. The USB 3.0 spec was announced and finalized a while ago, but no devices have yet appeared, in anticipation of Intel’s controller specification.
Chipset and add-on card vendors were eager to use the new controller. It saved them the cost of designing their own, and assured them of the best possible compatibility. With the Intel WHCI USB controller firmly entrenched, adoption of the successor EHCI controller for USB 2.0 was near total. Microsoft designed its USB controller driver for Windows around the WHCI, and its USB 2.0 driver around the EHCI. It is thus expected that what is now called the xHCI, or “Extensible Host Controller Interface,” will be the de facto standard for USB 3.0 controllers.
With this controller specification in hand, all the chipset vendors and all the peripheral vendors will be hard at work designing products to comply with the new standard. Controllers and peripherals for USB 3.0 speeds could start appearing in a matter of months.