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Renesas Electronics Introduces New Third Generation USB 3.0 Host Controllers with Industry-Leading Transfer Speed and Low Power Consumption

Contribute to Longer Battery Life in Mobile Devices such as Tablet PCs

TOKYO, Japan, March 9, 2011 — Renesas Electronics Corporation (TSE: 6723), a premier provider of advanced semiconductor solutions, today announced the availability of its two new SuperSpeed Universal Serial Bus (USB 3.0) xHCI host controllers (part number, µPD720201 and µPD720202) for electronic devices such as PCs and digital TVs that feature faster effective data transfer speeds and reduced power consumption in low power mode.

The µPD720201 and µPD720202 devices make it easier for system designers to build electronic devices combining high-speed data transfer, compact size, and extended battery life. In addition, Renesas Electronics device drivers for Microsoft Windows® with a proven track record, and device drivers with Linux® support, are available for the µPD720201 and µPD720202 host controllers at no cost.

USB has achieved widespread adoption worldwide as an interface standard for connecting peripheral devices such as mouses and external hard disks to PCs and other digital electronic products. In recent years, the increasing data size of video content and emergence of recording media with larger capacities have boosted demand for high-speed interfaces. As a result, USB 3.0, which boosts tenfold the earlier transfer speed of 480 megabits per second (Mbps), has appeared.

USB 3.0 has been widely adopted into an increasing number of PCs and peripheral devices such as external hard disks and USB flash memory drives. With the recent emergence of solid state drive (SSD) products offering faster read and write access than conventional hard disks and chipsets supporting the PCI Express® Generation 2 high-speed internal bus for PCs, the groundwork is in place to enable the high-speed performance potential of USB 3.0 to be used to its fullest. Against this background, there is strong market demand for host controller products offering faster effective data transfer speeds with peripheral devices, reduced standby power consumption for better battery life in mobile devices such as tablet PCs and netbooks, and compact package size to enable the use of smaller printed wiring boards.

The new host controllers add a new four-port product to the Renesas Electronics USB 3.0 product lineup and deliver even faster transfer speeds, better power efficiency, and more compact size than the company's previous versions of USB 3.0 host controllers.

Key features of the new µPD720201 and µPD720202 USB 3.0 host controllers:

  • (1) Industry-leading high data transfer speed

    Improvements to the data transfer processing circuit provide an increase in the effective data write speed of more than 40 percent from Renesas Electronics' existing host controller products for peripheral devices such as USB 3.0 hard disks. This, combined with excellent read performance, results in an industry-leading high data transfer speed.
  • (2) Industry-leading low power consumption

    In addition to a technology implemented on existing products that reduces power consumption when the peripheral device is in the unconnected state, circuit improvements have been made to effectively suppress current leakage when in low-power mode. This has reduced power consumption in low-power mode to 4.5 milliwatt (mW), a reduction of 90 percent compared with Renesas Electronics' existing products. This results in power consumption among the lowest in the industry, reduced standby power usage in laptop PCs and other mobile devices, and extended battery life.
  • (3) Compact QFN package and firmware download function for smaller mounting area

    The µPD720201 and the µPD720202 devices are equipped in an 8 millimeter (mm) square Quad Flat Non Lead (QFN) package and a 7 mm square QFN package, respectively, which are reductions in package size of approximately 50 percent from Renesas Electronics' existing products.
    In addition, the company's existing host controllers use firmware stored in external serial flash ROM. The µPD720201 and µPD720202 devices now have a function that makes use of improvements to the PCI Express interface to allow downloading of firmware from the system software, such as the basic input/output system (BIOS). The ability to download the firmware from the system software eliminates the need for external serial flash ROM. This reduces the number of components required for incorporating a USB 3.0 function and enables a smaller mounting area.

“In addition to contributing to faster data transfer processing in PCs and digital consumer electronics, Renesas Electronics' µPD720201 and µPD720202 host controllers help extend battery life by dramatically reducing the power consumption,”said Yukihiko Matsuda, Associate General Manager, Industry & Network Business Division, Renesas Electronics Corporation. “As a core member of the USB-IF, we will continue to provide robust lineups of USB 3.0 products to accelerate the adoption of USB 3.0 in compact mobile devices.”

Refer to the separate sheet for the specifications of the µPD720201 and µPD720202.USB 3.0 host controllers.

Renesas Electronics will exhibit and demonstrate the µPD720201 and µPD720202 devices at the SuperSpeed USB Developers Conference in Amsterdam, Netherlands, on March 9 and 10, 2011.

Leadership in USB

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 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.

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 µPD720200 host controller. In the following year, the company released its second USB 3.0 xHCI host controller (µPD720200A) and passed the compliance and certification testing in only two months.

Renesas Electronics is the world's largest producer of USB 3.0 host controllers and provides complete USB 3.0 solutions, which include device drivers for Windows XP™, Vista™ and Windows 7™. Renesas Electronics also licenses both host and device-side USB 3.0 IP and offers USB host and device side building blocks within its custom ASIC libraries for companies wishing to design and market their own USB 3.0 integrated circuits.

Availability

Samples of Renesas Electronics' µPD720201 with four downstream ports and µPD720202 with two downstream ports are available now, priced at $20 and $10, respectively. Mass production is scheduled to begin in September 2011 with a combined production volume of 2,000,000 units per month. (Pricing and availability are subject to change without notice.)

(Remarks) Windows is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corporation of the U.S.A. in the United States and other countries. Linux is a trademark or registered trademark of Linus Torvalds in Japan and other countries. PCI Express is a registered trademark of PCI SIG. Other names of products or services mentioned in this press release are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners.

About Renesas Electronics Corporation

Renesas Electronics Corporation (TSE: 6723), the world's number one supplier of microcontrollers, is a premier supplier of advanced semiconductor solutions including microcontrollers, SoC solutions and a broad range of analog and power devices. Business operations began as Renesas Electronics in April 2010 through the integration of NEC Electronics Corporation (TSE:6723) and Renesas Technology Corp., with operations spanning research, development, design and manufacturing for a wide range of applications. Headquartered in Japan, Renesas Electronics has subsidiaries in approximately 20 countries worldwide. More information can be found at www.renesas.com.


The content in the press release, including, but not limited to, product prices and specifications, is based on the information as of the date indicated on the document, but may be subject to change without prior notice.


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