USB 3.0 problems for Intel's Haswell


There's a report from Hardware.Info that claims Intel is having issues with USB 3.0 implementation in upcoming products based on fourth-generation Intel Core "Haswell" processors. This report stems from a "reliable source" who got his hands on an internal document sent to one of Intel's partners detailing the Haswell-based issue.

According to the supposed document, when a Haswell-based system wakes from an S3 sleep mode, users will experience issues if a device is plugged into one of the USB 3.0 ports. These "issues" include blank pages displayed in Acrobat Reader PDFs, video that stops rather than resumes, and more. A quick fix is to restart the troubled application without having to reboot the entire system.

That said, the USB 3.0 problems are only described as a "nuisance" to consumers, and won't result in major data loss or the start of Armageddon. Intel even supposedly states that it won't have any impact on the release of Haswell-based CPUs, and will likely be resolved in future processor stepping. The letter also requests that manufacturers acknowledge the issues before Intel will supply the Haswell processors.

Naturally Intel won't comment on rumors about future products. "I can tell you that Intel remains on track for the first 4th generation Intel Core processors to come to market starting in mid-2013," a company spokesperson told Hardware.Info.

The Haswell processor family is part of Intel's "tick tock" design process where it launches a new processor design in one year, and then shrinks it to a smaller process size in the following year. Haswell offers design tweaks made to the Ivy Bridge architecture which is essentially a process-shrunk revision of Sandy Bridge. New features introduced in Haswell include HNI instruction set architecture extensions, a high-performance L4 cache layer, models with a 10W TDP and more.

The Lynx Point chipset designed to accompany the Haswell processors comes packed with integrated USB 3.0 support for six individual ports, six on-board SATA 3 (6 Gb/s) ports and more. Unnamed industry sources claimed last year that both a weakening desktop market demand and Intel's Haswell family will cause several second-tier motherboard manufacturers to exit the market in late 2013 due to the integrated functions. That's because features like USB 3.0 help motherboard makers differentiate themselves from rivals.


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