SuperSpeed USB 3.0

Photo from the NEC website

Photo from the NEC website

There’s good news for computer users who transfer a lot of multimedia content from digital storage devices. USB 3.0 is here!

In a news release last May 18, NEC Electronics introduces the first ever USB 3.0 host controller for the PC for the new SuperSpeed USB 3.0 standard. The device, with part number µPD720200, promises data transfer speeds of up to 5 gigabits per second (Gbps), which is 10x faster than USB 2.0 that has a transfer rate of only 480 megabits per second (Mbps). The device is fully backward compatible with older versions of the USB standard.

USB 2.0, which was supposed to be faster than Firewire (IEEE1394 with transfer rate of 400 Mbps), lags 2x behind the latter when it comes to actual throughput mainly because of its traffic handling architecture. The USB 3.0 standard on the other hand, was designed to handle traffic more effectively and utilize power much more efficiently.

According to NEC experts, the device “makes it possible to expand the boundaries of digital appliances such as PCs, digital TVs, and DVD recorders. The new SuperSpeed USB 3.0 chip from NEC Electronics requires only 70 seconds to transfer 25 GB of video content on a blu-ray disc, compared to 14 minutes to transfer the same content when using the high-speed USB 2.0 with 480 Mbps transfer capability.”

Here’s the product specification of NEC’s USB 3.0 host controller as posted in their website:

Product Specification of the µPD720200 USB 3.0 Host Controller

– Based upon Universal Serial Bus 3.0 Specification Revision 1.0, which is released by USB Implementers Forum, Inc

– Based upon Intel’s eXtensible Host Controller Interface (xHCI) Specification Revision 0.95

– Based upon PCI Express® Base Specification 2.0, which is, released PCI SIG

– Supports the following speed data rate as follows;
Low-speed (1.5 Mbps) / Full-speed (12 Mbps) /
High-speed (480 Mbps) / Super-speed (5 Gbps)

– Supports all USB compliant data transfer type as follows;
Control / Bulk / Interrupt / Isochronous transfer

– Supports 2 USB downstream ports for all speeds

– Supports USB legacy function

– Supports PCI Express® related expansion card specification
ExpressCard® Standard Release1.0
PCI Express® Card Electromechanical Specification Revision 2.0
PCI Bus Power Management Interface Specification Revision 1.2

– Operational registers are direct-mapped to PCI memory space

– Requires External Serial Peripheral Interface (SPI) type FLASH PROM

– System clock: 24 MHz crystal or 48 MHz external clock

– 3.3 V and 1.05 V power supply

– PACKAGE : 176-pin plastic FBGA (10 x 10 mm, 0.65 mm ball pitch)

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