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Renesas ships more energy efficient USB 3.0 controller

Posted on Thursday, July 15 2010 @ 20:44:30 CEST by

Renesas has introduced a new USB 3.0 host controller (µPD720200A) that consumes 85 percent less power than the company's existing USB 3.0 host controller when peripherals are not connected to the ports.
Renesas Electronics Corporation (TSE: 6723), a premier provider of advanced semiconductor solutions, today announced the availability of its new SuperSpeed Universal Serial Bus (USB 3.0) host controller (part number µPD720200A), featuring 85 percent reduced power consumption compared to the company's existing host controller (part number µPD720200) when peripheral devices, such as mice, are not connected to the ports.

Supporting fast data transfer rates of up to 5 gigabits per second (Gbps), the µPD720200A device achieves low power consumption of 50 milliwatts (mW) with no peripheral connection to the ports, reduced by 85 percent from the company's existing USB 3.0 host controller. The new host controller also has the same footprint as the previous host controller, which makes it possible for system designers to accommodate their designs on the same board used for the previous device, the µPD720200. These advancements enable system designers to develop notebook PCs that boast longer battery life, yet maintain high data transfer rates.

USB is an interface standard used in a wide range of electronic devices including PCs, digital home appliances, and PC peripherals. Originally USB was designed as an interface for relatively low-speed computer peripherals, such as mice and keyboards. However, the need to transfer larger and larger amounts of information between PCs and portable electronic devices continued to grow rapidly. USB 3.0 has been developed to address this need by providing the world's fastest USB transfer speeds of up to 5Gbps of data, which is ten times faster than previous USB 2.0 transfer speeds, while maintaining backward compatibility with the other USB standards.

As a member of the USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF) since 1996, Renesas Electronics (formerly NEC Electronics) has played a leading role both in defining the USB standards and in developing USB technology. In April 2000, the company (then NEC Electronics) launched the µPD720100 device, the world's first USB 2.0-compliant host controller chip and an extensive lineup of other USB devices, and has earned a reputation for delivering dedicated customer service and high-quality products.

In May 2009, Renesas Electronics introduced the industry's first USB 3.0 host controller and, only 4 months after its release, the company became the world's first to earn the “Certified SuperSpeed USB (USB 3.0)” certification from the USB-IF, and also started mass production of the µPD720200 host controller. To secure backward compatibility with billions of USB 2.0 devices that exist in the market, Renesas Electronics has been collaborating with major manufacturers of PC peripheral devices on compatibility testing. Renesas Electronics' own device driver enables fine-grained control of USB sub-system and fully backward compatibility with existing USB2.0 devices, including those that perform unusual operation.

The company also provides as a driver solution a USB Attached SCSI Protocol (UASP) driver designed specifically to enhance the performance of the company's USB 3.0 host controller.

With the company's proven technology expertise and reliability accumulated through release of an extensive lineup of USB 2.0-compliant system-on-chips (SoCs) as well as the steady supply of the µPD720200 device, the industry's first and only (as of July 13, 2010) certified USB 3.0 host controller commercially available, Renesas Electronics' USB 3.0 host controller has won the trust of the manufacturers of PCs and motherboards worldwide. The company has shipped an accumulated total of 3,000,000 units in just six months' time as of March 2010, evidence that the µPD720200 device has become the defacto standard for USB 3.0 host controllers.

Renesas Electronics' new host controller realizes longer battery life for notebook PCs and netbooks and at the same time makes it possible to develop desktop PCs and digital home appliances with low power consumption. The company intends to market the new host controller chip aggressively and believes the new µPD720200A host controller will further promote the widespread use of USB 3.0 technology and also address today's rising demand for energy conservation.

Pricing and Availability
Samples of Renesas Electronics' new µPD720200A host controller are currently available and are priced at US$10 per unit, including the Windows® device driver software. Mass production is expected to reach approximately 2,000,000 units per month in October 2010 and is expected to be priced at US$3 per unit (the pricing is for reference only and is contingent on various terms of the orders).



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