USB 3.0 becomes part of AMD's reference designsBy Jose Vilches
Even though a number of companies have started pushing out USB 3.0-equipped devices, the new SuperSpeed standard still has some way to go before seeing mainstream adoption. Late last week, AMD and Renesas Electronics (formerly NEC Electronics Corporation) announced a collaboration to promote the faster interface, in which the former will integrate NEC's µPD720200 USB 3.0 controller to its reference motherboard designs.
AMD had been working on its own USB 3.0 chipset but seems to have opted for the more popular third-party silicon. Besides adopting Renesas' controller, AMD has agreed to work with the Japanese company to provide a standardized UASP (USB Attached SCSI Protocol) driver into the market. Already AMD says it has enhanced the data transfer rate by around 20% compared to the conventional Bulk Only Transfer (BOT) protocol, while minimizing design cycle time.
USB 3.0 is said to be capable of supporting data transfer rates of up to 5Gbps, which is 10 times faster than the previous USB 2.0 transfer speeds. In reality, sequential read and write rates are closer to 100MB/s but that is still a nice improvement over its predecessor. Intel for its part doesn't plan to build chipsets with integrated USB 3.0 support until 2011 or later, and has been touting its own high-speed optical cable interface for PCs called Light Peak.