NEC today introduced the world's first Universal Serial Bus (USB) host controller (part number μPD720200) for the new SuperSpeed USB 3.0 standard.
NEC Electronics expects rapid adoption of the device and standard as the need to transfer larger and larger amounts of information between PCs to external hard-drives, portable electronics devices, and flash-based thumb drives, continues to grow rapidly. The μPD720200 device is a host controller for PCs and other digital devices, and is based on the new version of the Super Speed USB standard. USB 3.0 offers transfer speeds of up to 5 gigabits per second (Gbps) of data, which is 10 times faster than previous USB 2.0 speeds. The new USB 3.0 chip from NEC requires only 70 seconds to transfer 25 Gbps 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.
The new device, as well as the standard, is fully backward compatible with the USB 2.0, 1.1 and 1.0 versions of the USB standard.
The high data transfer rate also offers compatibility with recent high-performance computer interfaces such as PCI Express and SATA (Serial Advanced Technology Attachment), which are capable of data transfer at speeds in excess of 3 Gbps.
NEC expects the market for USB 3.0 products to begin a rapid expansion in 2010. It intends to market the new μPD720200 USB 3.0 controller aggressively, and to offer a range of related products by incorporating USB 3.0 communications as an IP (intellectual property) core function in various application specific ICs.
Samples of NEC Electronics' μPD720200 host controller are expected to be available in June 2009 at US$15 each, along with free Windows device driver software. Monthly production is expected to reach approximately 1,000,000 units in September 2009.