Renesas Enables Ultra-Fast External Storage with New Chip

Renesas Announces World's First USB 3.0-to-SATA-600 Bridge Chip

by Anton Shilov
08/31/2011 | 08:08 PM

Renesas Electronics Corp, a well-known designer of advanced semiconductor solutions, has announced the availability of its new SuperSpeed Universal Serial Bus (USB 3.0) Serial ATA III (SATA3, SATA-600) bridge system-on-chip (SoC) µPD720230) that enables data transfer between a USB3.0 host system and a Serial ATA (SATA) device in external USB storage equipment.


To respond to the need for faster data transfer ecessary with the increased scale of the data handled in the storage device market, Renesas has released the µPD720230 bridge SoC.  The µPD720230 USB 3.0-to-SATA III bridge SoC supports SuperSpeed USB transfer speeds of up to 5Gb/s as well as the SATA 3.0 6Gb/s bit rate achieving maximum data transfer performance of USB 3.0. The new SoC will enable ultra high-performance solid-state drives for USB 3.0 ports as well as advanced external storage solutions that rely on USB 3.0.

The new SoC is the world's first USB 3.0 bridge SoC that supports the UASP (USB Attached SCSI Protocol) protocol that significantly speeds up data throughput for large volumes of data. This new silicon device, combined with Renesas' advanced host-controller technology and UASP driver software, achieves industry-leading data transfer performance, the company said.

Samples of Renesas Electronics' µPD720230 device are available now, priced at $3.5 per unit. Mass production is scheduled to begin in October 2011 with a combined production volume of 500 000 units per month expected.

In addition to Renesas USB 3.0 host controllers, the UASP driver operates with AMD's A70M and A75 chipsets, which has been made possible through close cooperation with AMD. Renesas also plans on achieving compatibility with AMD's future USB3-supporting chipsets.

Renesas has led the industry by releasing the µPD720200 USB 3.0 host controller in May 2009 and began mass production in June that same year. Since then, the company's lineup of USB 3.0 host controllers has been widely adopted by customers worldwide. Total shipments of these products have already exceeded 40 million units since May 2010, and Renesas has ramped up production of its USB 3.0 host controllers to 6 million units per month.