NEC Electronics Demos World's 1st USB 3.0-certified Product

Sep 25, 2009
Tomohisa Takei, Nikkei Electronics
NEC Electronics demonstrated a USB 3.0 host controller IC.
NEC Electronics demonstrated a USB 3.0 host controller IC.
[Click to enlarge image]
In the demonstration, the writing speed with a USB 3.0 interface was about 10 times faster than that with a USB 2.0 interface.
In the demonstration, the writing speed with a USB 3.0 interface was about 10 times faster than that with a USB 2.0 interface.
[Click to enlarge image]
Prototypes of USB 3.0-compatible external storage devices using LucidPort Technology's USB300
Prototypes of USB 3.0-compatible external storage devices using LucidPort Technology's USB300
[Click to enlarge image]

NEC Electronics Corp exhibited the "μPD720200," a host controller IC supporting USB 3.0 (SuperSpeed USB), at Intel Developer Forum 2009 (IDF 2009), which took place from Sept 22 to 24, 2009, in San Francisco.

The μPD720200 is the world's first USB 3.0-certified product, which was certified by the USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF) Sept 21, 2009.

"Because of the certification that we received this time, a USB 3.0-compatible final product may appear as early as within 2009," NEC Electronics said.

With a channel of PCI-Express Gen 2 interface circuit, the μPD720200 can control two USB 3.0 ports. The USB ports support USB 2.0, too. The company is now using the third prototype, which it plans to mass-produce.

At IDF 2009, NEC Electronics showed a demonstration of inserting an expansion card equipped with the μPD720200 into a PC and writing data on a USB 3.0-compatible external storage device.

Specifically, the company wrote the same data (500 Mbytes) on Intel's SSD connected via UBS 3.0 and flash memory connected via UBS 2.0 and compared the writing speeds. As a result, while it took 39.9 seconds to write on the flash memory, it took 4.2 seconds to write on the SSD.

As a controller for the storage devices, LucidPort Technology Inc's "USB300" was used. With the USB300, a bridge IC for USB 3.0 and Serial ATA, NEC Electronics wrote the data, which is received via a USB 3.0 interface, on the SSD via a Serial ATA interface.

According to LucidPort Technology, Good Way Technology Co Ltd of Taiwan and Netac Technology Co Ltd of China plan to develop external storage devices equipped with the USB300.

The USB-IF is planning to certify controller ICs for peripheral devices, too.