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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 computer USB (universal serial bus) standards and in developing USB technology.
How Renesas Developed Universal Serial Bus
In April 2000, the company (then NEC Electronics) launched the uPD720100 (the world’s first USB 2.0-compliant host controller chip), the uPD720110, (the world’s first USB 2.0-compliant hub controller chip) and an extensive lineup of other USB devices, and has earned a reputation for delivering dedicated customer service and high quality.
In May 2009, Renesas Electronics (then NEC Electronics) introduced the industry’s first USB 3.0 xHCI host controller and, only after four months of 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 uPD720200 host controller.
Renesas contributed to the USB-IF certification tests, providing the organization with the host controller products as the platform for other USB 3.0 device certification.
The µPD720211 is a two-port USB 3.0 hub controller, which complies with the Universal Serial Bus 3.0 Specification and is compatible with Renesas’ industry-standard host controllers.
The controller provides two downstream USB ports. Each of these ports is fully backward compatible with all previous versions of USB LS (Low-Speed) / FS (Full-Speed) / HS (High-Speed) / SS (SuperSpeed) operation.
Adding a new two-port hub controller to the lineup alongside Renesas’ world’s first certified USB 3.0 four-port hub controller (part number µPD720210) increases system designers’ options for USB 3.0 hub expansion with products such as PCs, tablets, display monitors, docking stations (function expansion units that connect to notebook PCs), and digital TVs.
The addition of the two-port hub controller (µPD720211) supports designs with tighter space and cost budgets while expanding the USB 3.0 connectivity to utilize the increasing number and performance of USB 3.0 peripherals devices available in the market.
The two-port hub controller employs a quad flat no-lead (QFN) package, which is presently the industry-leading small package for USB 3.0 hub controller chips and integrates a voltage step-down regulator equivalent to that of existing hub controllers as well as peripheral components required for rapid charging of tablets, smartphones, etc.
In addition, the two-port hub controller delivers industry-leading small power consumption at approximately 5 milliwatts (mW) in low-power mode and approximately 350mW during USB 3.0 operation.
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.
Transfer Made Simple
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.
Solving Compatibility Issues
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 the USB sub-system and fully backward compatibility with existing USB2.0 devices, including those that perform the unusual operations.
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.
The USB (Universal Serial Bus) interface specification was designed to allow various peripheral devices to be connected via standardized connectors. USB offers many useful and convenient features, such as the ability to connect up to 127 devices simultaneously through the use of branching devices referred to as “hubs,” and the support for plug-and-play hot swapping.
USB 3.0, the next-generation USB specification was released in 2008, boosting the maximum transfer rate to 5 Gbps from 480Mbps. USB 3.0 will offer a myriad of possibilities for applications requiring fast and high-capacity communication, while maintaining compatibility with USB 2.0.
The application of USB is increasingly expanding in various fields, from personal computers and digital appliances to audio/video equipment and embedded devices and personal healthcare. Renesas Electronics has supported USB technologies with its lineup of USB products.