Renesas Electronics Corporation, a premier provider of advanced semiconductor solutions, today announced that its SuperSpeed USB (USB 3.0) SATA3 bridge system-on-chip (SoC), part number, µPD720230, has passed the certification testing by the USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF). Renesas also announced that AMD has tested and verified chipset compatibility with Renesas’ performance-enhancing UASP software for external storage devices.

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 has 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 450 million units.

USB is the most successful interface in the history of PCs with an installed base of 10+ billion units* and growing at 3+ billion units per year.

This success was brought about by the ease-of-use, interoperability and quality of USB-IF-certified devices. USB has always been an interface that makes adding peripherals to a PC as simple as hooking up a telephone to a wall-jack, and the ease of USB connectivity has been achieved via the USB-IF’s continual engineering activities and comprehensive certification test program. Renesas believes that the USB-IF’s compliance program is an important distinction for users in their decisions to purchase quality USB products.

“The USB-IF is pleased with Renesas achieving certification for its SuperSpeed USB-SATA3 bridge system-on-chip,” said Jeff Ravencraft, President & COO, USB-IF. “Certification helps ensure interoperability with the growing number of SuperSpeed USB products and a seamless user experience.”

A newly defined mass-storage class protocol, UASP (USB Attached SCSI Protocol) allows mass-storage devices to operate more efficiently, and therefore take advantage of the increased bandwidth available SuperSpeed Universal Serial Bus (USB 3.0) interface. In December 2009, Renesas released a UASP driver, followed by the launch of a USB 3.0-SATA3 bridge SoC (µPD720230) in August 2011, which was the world's first USB 3.0-to-SATA3 bridge SoC that supports UASP.

Renesas is currently working with leading chipset manufacturers to ensure that its UASP software is compatible with their chipsets. The 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 on A70M and A75 AMD Fusion Controller Hubs and its future products.

“In today’s divergent computing environment – where we each have multiple computing devices – compatibility is essential for customers,” said Chris Cloran, vice president and general manager of Client Business Unit at AMD. “Our work with Renesas helps ensure greater USB 3.0 compatibility for the industry, meaning AMD customers have a positive experience using USB on our platforms.”

Looking forward, Renesas will expand the industry support and compatibility for the UASP driver by working closely with Intel to ensure full compatibility with their high volume chipsets, as well as their future SOC’s.

“Intel is pleased to be working with Renesas on the UASP driver compatibility to ensure personal computer buyers worldwide, receive the promise of robust plug & play compatibility, plus the performance delivered by USB 3.0,” said Ahmad Zaidi, General Manager of Intel’s Chipset and SOC IP Group.