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3GIO, ATA, USB 2.0 all present and correct

Client standards rain on IDF

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Intel Developer Forum Today at IDF Intel announced its commitment to various standards and client-side technology initiatives.

Intel released details on the preliminary third-generation I/O (3GIO) specification, demonstrated Hi-Speed USB 2.0 products and announced the release of the Serial ATA 1.0 specification.

3GIO is a general purpose serial architecture, featuring low pin count interfaces. This will connect computing subsystems and I/O peripheral components at high-bandwidth speeds. It is designed to be a successor to PCI.

An industry working group which includes Compaq, Dell, IBM, Intel and Microsoft (plus 22 new members) will work together to develop a draft 1.0 3GIO specification to deliver to the PCI -SIG in the first quarter of 2002. 3GIO will support the PCI model of communications.

Undeterred by its recent about-turn on IEEE 1394, aka, Firewire, Intel vice president Louis Burns demoed the first "Hi-Speed" USB 2.0 digital video camera connected to an Intel Pentium 4 PC kitted out with an Intel prototype chipset featuring an integrated USB 2.0 controller. Burns said the chipset would enable broad deployment of Hi-Speed USB 2.0, which is 40 times faster than USB 1.1, when it goes into production in the second half of next year.

Intel also announced the release of Serial ATA 1.0 specification, which will replace the parallel ATA physical storage interface with a much thinner, tidier cable. Serial ATA maintains software compatibility with existing ATA drivers, and initial configurations will use tailgates not unlike existing FireWire drives (which are really ATA drives with a 1394 interface).

Serial ATA drives are expected to go native before too long, though. You can find more on the spec here. ®

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