NEC ready to sample 'world's first' USB 3.0 controller chip
SuperSpeed part out next month
NEC has taken the wraps off what may be the world's first control chip for USB 3.0 - aka SuperSpeed USB.
The µPD720200 implements the most recent version of the USB 3.0 specification to deliver data-transfer speeds of up to 5Gb/s - more than ten times faster than USB 2.0's peak.
NEC's µPD720200: powering USB 3.0 PCs by the end of the year?
The NEC part is fully compatible with older versions of the standard. Indeed, USB 3.0 mandates the presence of a USB 2.0 bus alongside the higher-speed link for this very reason.
The chip is based Intel's eXtensible Host Controller Interface (xHCI) outline, a set of guidelines for building USB 3.0 Host Controller chippery that the company released last year to avoid accusations that it had a headstart on the development of SuperSpeed silicon.
Inside NEC's µPD720200
NEC's 1cm² chip connects to a machine's PCI Express bus. Computer manufacturers who want to get their hands on the part will be able to do so next month when the µPD720200 samples at $15 a pop.
NEC is expected to put the chip into mass production by Q3, so we could see USB 3.0-capable PCs by the end of the year. That said, peripherals that can use the 5Gb/s bus aren't expected to go on sale until 2010. ®
Ah, so that's what HS/FS/LS was. Cheers.
All there for you in black and white on the drawing. There are separate USB3 and USB2 PHYs, with the USB2 PHY handling the High Speed / Full Speed / Low Speed (i.e. USB2, USB 1.1, USB 1) traffic.
So yes, a USB3 port will be able to interface with a piece of USB1 hardware.
G E E K ! ! ! !
Paris - she know about high speed
USB 3.0 is backward compatible with USB 1.1 - that's, in part, what the USB 2.0 element is for.
The cabling's compatible too: USB 3.0 ports will interconnect with USB 1.1/2.0 connectors. Some, but not all, will work the other way round, but USB 3.0 device plugged into USB 2.0 port will only connect at 480Mb/s peak, not 5Gb/s.
If I remember correctly ...
I saw a diagram (possibly on here) which showed the USB3.0 socket as physically compatible with USB2.0/1.1 but with a small extension to the plug so you can plug a USB2.0 plug into a USB3.0 socket and it only meets up with USB2.0 compatible pins, but the 3.0 plug fits in further to pick up the faster data transfer pins.
So it's a full implementation of USB2.0 (including 1.1 which is part of the 2.0 spec) plus extra pins for the faster connection.
Of course it could all have changed since I last looked!