Renesas Electronics America Announces Stream API License Program

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AMD Tested and Verified Chipset Compatible with Renesas’ Performance-Enhancing UASP Software for External Storage Devices

19 Mar 2013

Santa Clara, Calif., March 19, 2013 — Renesas Electronics America, a premier provider of advanced semiconductor solutions, today announced the launch of the Renesas’ stream Application Programming Interface (API) license program for implementation externally.


In December 2009, Renesas developed a driver that utilizes the USB Attached SCSI Protocol (UASP) defined by the USB Implementer’s Forum (USB-IF) and further enhances the data transfer rate with external mass-storage devices. This overcomes the performance boundaries of the legacy Bulk Only Transfer (BOT) protocol defined in the USB 2.0 standard. In August 2011, Renesas launched the µPD720230 USB 3.0-to-SATA3 bridge SoC. The Renesas USB 3.0 host controllers, the µPD720230 SoC and the Renesas UASP driver, form the world's first complete solution that fully commercializes the UASP technology in the market, offering end users unprecedented transfer speed to the external storage.


Renesas has now extended the UASP technology implementation to other companies in order to facilitate a broader adoption of the technology. Based on a cooperative agreement, key chipset manufacturer AMD has implemented the Renesas proprietary API for the UASP driver to “stream” the data transfer commands to the host driver. This “Stream” API enables compatibility between Renesas’ UASP driver and non-Renesas host hardware. Today, Renesas’ UASP driver runs not only on the Renesas µPD720200 USB 3.0 host controller and its follow-on products (µPD720200A, µPD720201 and µPD720202), but also operates on AMD’s A88X, A85X, A76M, A75, A70M, and A68M chipsets.


As part of its continuous promotion of the UASP technology, Renesas has made the proprietary Stream API available to other UASP driver implementers, including MCCI Corporation.


“Our mission is to offer our customers as wide a portfolio of USB connectivity solutions as possible,” said Terry Moore, CEO, MCCI. “By partnering with Renesas, we are able to offer developers access to high-performance USB storage platforms they require.”


Through the Renesas Stream API licensing program (in the form of a software library/wrapper), MCCI has integrated the software wrapper into their UASP driver. MCCI’s UASP driver is now compatible with hardware using host driver software that supports Renesas’ proprietary Stream API, achieving the high data transfer performance of UASP, and maintaining the solid interoperability that Renesas has built into its USB complete software solution. At the same time, the Renesas solution will be offered to more end users.


Leadership in USB

USB 3.0 achieves data transfer speeds that are up to 10 times faster than the previous version of the standard, enabling more rapid and efficient transfers of data to and from external storage devices. Renesas led the industry by introducing the world’s first USB 3.0 host controller in May 2009, and the company’s lineup of USB 3.0 host controllers has been broadly adopted by customers worldwide with total shipments already exceeding 60 million units.


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. These host controllers have become the de facto USB 3.0 host controller standard and provide excellent compatibility between PCs and PC peripherals that support USB 3.0.


Following these devices, two new host controllers joined the Renesas USB 3.0 product lineup in March 2011 to deliver even faster transfer speeds, better power efficiency, and more compact size than the company’s previous versions of USB 3.0 host controllers.


Renesas Electronics is the world’s largest producer of USB 3.0 host controllers and provides complete USB 3.0 solutions, which includes 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.


Note: SATA (Serial ATA) is a storage interface specification that supports high-speed serial communication. It was developed for high-speed data transfers with mass storage devices such as hard-disk drives.


About Renesas Electronics America Inc.

Renesas Electronics America Inc., headquartered in Santa Clara, California, is a wholly owned subsidiary of Renesas Electronics Corporation (TSE: 6723), the world's number one supplier of microcontrollers and a premier supplier of advanced semiconductor solutions including microcontrollers, SoC solutions, and a broad range of analog and power devices. In the Americas, Renesas Electronics America markets and sells industrial-type active-matrix LCD modules from NLT Technologies, Ltd., a global leader in innovative display technologies. More information about the products offered by Renesas Electronics America can be found at

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