WD and NEC Electronics Collaborate to Promote USB 3.0 with New Storage Devices

WD, the world’s leader in external storage solutions, and NEC
Electronics Corporation (TSE: 6723), a leading provider of
semiconductor solutions, today announced that the companies have
collaborated to promote the new SuperSpeed Universal Serial Bus (USB)
3.0 standard, a next-generation interface to be used in a wide range of
electronic devices including PCs, PC peripherals, and digital

USB 3.0 is capable of supporting data transfer rates of up to 5
gigabits per second (Gbps), which is 10 times faster than the previous
high-speed USB 2.0 transfer speeds. With its higher speeds and enhanced
power efficiency, external hard disk drives are the first SuperSpeed
USB 3.0 devices to appear on the market.

As the first step toward WD’s and NEC Electronics’ goal to promote the
SuperSpeed USB 3.0 standard, the companies plan to develop a USB
Attached SCSI Protocol (UASP) driver to deliver hard drives with very high performance, mass-storage capacity. UASP is a new
industry-standard, high-performance mass-storage protocol being
developed for SuperSpeed USB 3.0 to overcome the performance boundaries
of the Bulk Only Transfer (BOT) protocol, which has been used for
traditional USB 2.0 speeds. The new UASP driver will be used with NEC
Electronics’ USB 3.0 xHCI (eXtensible Host Controller Interface) host
controller (part number µPD720200), which appeared on the market as the
world’s first USB 3.0 host controller in June 2009.

Key features of the new UASP driver:

  • Support for the UASP mass-storage protocol
  • Data
    transfer rate is enhanced by 30 percent, with optimized power
    efficiency and smooth interoperability, compared to the existing BOT
  • NEC Electronics’ license program is available for any LSI (large scale integration) vendors who develop UASP-based LSI devices

"The wide adoption of external storage, for both expanding and backing up internal
computer storage, highlights the need for faster interface transfer
rates. The USB 3.0 interface offers a significant advance in data
transfer speed," said Robert Caddy, Jr., vice president of engineering
for WD’s Branded Products Group. "We are pleased to collaborate with
NEC Electronics as a leading supplier of USB host devices in the
introduction of USB 3.0 technology to the storage market."
"Partnering with WD enables us to combine our USB transfer technology
with WD’s data storage technology and provide added value to our
customers," said Masao Hirasawa, deputy general manager, Home
Multimedia Division, NEC Electronics Corporation. "Starting with the
new HDDs, WD and NEC Electronics are working together as the industrial
leaders to expand USB 3.0 marketplace offerings with the highest
quality and performance solutions while speeding time to market."


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