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Date: 06-03-13

Renesas enhances USB3.0 focus by unveiling USB 3.0-SATA3 Bridge SoC

Renesas Electronics has said it has shipped 62 million units of USB 3.0 host controllers ICs since June 2009. 10x faster USB3.0 (compared to USB2.0) is hot due to its ability to connect to the peripherals to processor at a speed close to system bus. The missing USB3.0 feature in many devices make them weak in the gadget market. Due to the emergence of USB3.0, there is a need for bridge ICs to connect USB3.0 to other high speed interfaces. To address that trend, Renesas has launched USB 3.0 to SATA3 bridge SoC . The new µPD720231 enables effective multi-gigabit per second (Gbps) data transfer between a USB 3.0 host system and a SATA device used in widely adopted external USB hard drives and solid state drives (SSD).

Renesas also released a UASP driver that further enhances the data transfer for storage devices by improving the performance limit of the BOT (Bulk-Only Transfer) standard used by USB 2.0, making it possible for external storage devices to take advantage of the increased speed offered by the new USB 3.0 standard.

Key features and benefits of the new µPD720231 SoC as explained by Renesas includes:
1. Through integration, the new µPD720231 USB 3.0-SATA3 bridge SoC has reduced the number of components by 40 percent compared with the number of other commercial devices with equal functions. The µPD720231 features an embedded voltage regulator and power-on reset circuit. The new product can store firmware in SATA devices such as hard discs and SSD and can also omit external serial flash ROM.
2. The µPD720231 USB 3.0-SATA3 bridge SoC supports SuperSpeed USB transfer speeds of up to 5 Gbps—as well as the SATA Revision 3.0 6 Gbps bit rate achieving maximum data transfer performance of USB 3.0. Thus, users can utilize actual USB 3.0 transfer rate, free from the transfer speed of the SATA side.
3. Renesas' free UASP driver runs not only on the Renesas µPD720200 USB 3.0 host controller and its follow-on products, the µPD720200A, µPD720201 and µPD720202, but also on major chip sets with an embedded USB 3.0 host controller, enabling higher data transfer speed on Windows XP/Vista/7. Renesas licenses this driver from MediaLogic,corp.
4. The new µPD720231 device is compatible with Microsoft UASP drivers on Windows 8, and therefore does not depend on PC platform or OSs and can work in any major environment with higher data transfer speed by UASP.
5. Renesas' USB 3.0 host controllers have provided the de facto USB 3.0 connection for various peripherals. The new µPD720231 bridge adopts the same proven PHY core used in these host controllers, eliminating the unknown when connecting to USB 3.0 hosts.
The new µPD720231 device can control BD/DVD drives by supporting ATAPI command. It facilitates design of BD/DVD drives with USB interface.

Availability: Mass production started in February 2013 and is expected to reach a scale of 500,000 units per month in June 2013.

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