The controller owes its higher performance to four DMA Engines with pipelined control. Lower power consumption and lower heat dissipation are ensured by the support of Dynamic Clock Stop Control. The 32bit CardBus mode allows using PCMCIA interface as an additional USB 2.0 concentrator, increasing the number of devices to be connected to the controller.
The controller meets USB 2.0 specifications, supports EHCI (Enhanced Host Controller Interface), UHCI (Universal Host Controller Interface) and features Serial EEPROM. The microchip is manufactured in two types of packaging: 128-pin PQFP (VT6212) and 128-pin LQFP (VT6212L). VT6212 is manufactured with 0.22micron CMOS technology. The chip is designed to support 2.5V of power.
In order to figure out the actual efficiency of the new VIA VT6212 controller we decided to compare it with the predecessor, VT6202 (implemented as a PCI solution). As a reference we will also use the results shown by the USB 2.0 controller integrated into the ICH5 South Bridge from Intel, as this one proved to be the fastest of all USB 2.0 controllers we have tested so far.
Testbed and Methods
We estimated the controllers performance by testing the fastness of the external Maxtor OneTouch HDD with 250GB storage capacity, which supports USB 2.0 interface. This drive features pretty high performance characteristics, which are definitely far beyond the USB 1.1 capabilities. Therefore, we get a beautiful opportunity to see what the controllers are capable of.
We used the following benchmarks for our today’s test session:
- WinBench 99 2.0;
- FC-Test 0.5.3;
- Intel IOMeter 2003.02.15.
Our testbed was configured as follows:
- Albatron PX865PE Pro mainboard;
- Intel Pentium 4 2.4GHz CPU;
- IBM DTLA-307015 15GB HDD;
- Radeon 7000 32 MB graphics card;
- 256MB of memory;
- Microsoft Windows 2000 with Service Pack 4.
We tested the controllers with the drivers provided in the operation system. Only for VIA controllers we installed “four-in-one” driver version 4.51. The drive was formatted in FAT32 and NTFS as a single partition with a default cluster size. In some cases described below we used 32GB logical partitions also formatted in FAT32 and NTFS with a default cluster. For Maxtor drive we wrote the data all over the work surface first to ensure correct results of ongoing tests.