Apple may be planning to adopt USB 3 in the new MacBook Air. So called industry sources claim that Genesys Logic has received USB 3.0 card reader controller chip orders from the company.

The DigiTimes report claims its sources say the integrated-circuit design house will provide the USB 3.0 chips for Apple's next-generation MacBook Air models, coming in the second half of the year.

USB 3 offers speeds of up to 5Gbps, 10 times that of USB 2.0. However, Apple has already shown its commitment to Thunderbolt, which is available on every Mac bar the Mac Pro (which hasn’t been updated in nearly two years). Thunderbolt, which was introduced more than a year ago, is a high-speed connector technology that moves data between computers and peripherals. Thunderbolt was co-developed by Apple and Intel and has data transfer speeds of up to 10Gbps (bits per second), which is faster than USB 3.0. Thunderbolt ports first appeared on Apple's Macintosh computers, but will also appear on new PCs from Lenovo, Asus and Acer later this year.

Intel supports both USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt.

According to earlier reports, USB 3.0 will cost Apple roughly $2-3 each in large quantities, compared to $10-15 for Intel's Thunderbolt chip.

Note: DigiTime publishes a lot of claims about new products, many of which never materialise, however, Apple would be wise to upgrade the USB 2.0 driver on Macs to USB 3.0 (which is backwards compatible).

There are also reports that Apple will ditch AMD in favour of Nvidia as the supplier of graphics cards in the new MacBook Pro.  

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