Renesas launches new USB 3.0 host controller

85 percent more power efficient than the current model

WE BROKE THE news about Renesas new USB 3.0 host controller back in April.  Back then we reported that the new controller was going to have a reduced power consumption, but at the time we didn’t know by how much. Renesas has finally unveiled the new host controller and has managed to reduce the power consumption by 85 percent when no peripherals are attached to the controller’s ports.

At 50mW in standby mode, the µPD720200A is possibly the most power efficient USB 3.0 host controller to date. However, as Renesas is still the only USB 3.0 host controller manufacturer that ships any kind of quantities of its controllers, there really isn’t much to compare with. The µPD720200A is pin-to-pin compatible with the µPD720200, although it seems like Renesas will continue to sell the older controller.

The µPD720200A is most likely going to be targeting notebooks, netbooks and tablets, while the µPD720200 will continue to be used in desktop systems. According to Impress, samples of the µPD720200A are priced at 1000 yen ($11.30) each, although in large quantities, they’re expecting the new host controller to sell for as little as 300 yen ($3.40) each.

USB 3.0 is gaining ground, but the initial enthusiasm for the new USB interface seems to have cooled off somewhat. This is mostly likely to have to do with the cost of not only getting a motherboard with USB 3.0 ports, but also extra peripheral cost compared to USB 2.0, despite the obvious speed advantages. With the back to school season kicking off next month we should see a renewed interest in USB 3.0 devices.S|A

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