USB 3.0 hub controller features ultra-low power consumption

USB 3.0 hub controller features ultra-low power consumption

Renesas Electronics Corp. introduces its SuperSpeed USB (USB 3.0) hub controller system-on-chip (SoC), the μPD720210, for use in hubs that enable connection of multiple devices supporting the USB 3.0 standard, such as PC peripherals and digital TVs.

The USB interface standard has been widely adopted worldwide, while the recent proliferation of video content and large-capacity recording media has increased demand for interfaces capable of handling higher data transfer rates. In response, new products are coming to market with support for USB 3.0, which delivers speeds 10 times faster than the 480 megabits per second of USB 2.0 speeds. Adoption of USB 3.0 in non-PC products, such as digital consumer electronics, is growing due to factors such as the appearance of solid state drives (SSDs), which allow reading and writing of data at faster speeds than conventional hard disk drives (HDDs), and chipsets with a built-in USB 3.0 host controller.

A USB 3.0 hub device supports the proliferation of USB 3.0–compatible peripheral devices by allowing multiple such devices to connect to a single host device, enabling consumers to have a more efficient and intuitive experience with their electronics. Products with built-in USB 3.0 hubs are beginning to appear, including docking stations, monitors, and digital TVs, enabling high-speed data transfer with a variety of peripheral devices. Featuring compact packaging and integrated peripheral components, the new μPD720210 hub controller SoC was designed to meet the need for hubs with low standby power consumption and small board size.

Key features of the μPD720210 hub controller:

  • Excellent interoperability: The new uPD720210 Hub provides perfect compatibility with Renesas widely adopted USB 3.0 host controllers. This new device builds the 10-years+ track record of Renesas µPD720114 USB 2.0 Hub controller. The μPD720210 also received Windows 8 connectivity Hardware Certification from Microsoft. In addition, Renesas intends to receive USB-IF Certification, when a USB 3.0 hub certification program is available by USB-IF.
  • Ultra-low power consumption: In addition to technology implemented on Renesas’ existing products that reduces power consumption when all the ports are in an unconnected state, the new hub controller has an improved circuit design that dramatically lowers current leakage when a connected peripheral device is in low-power mode. As a result, the μPD720210 achieves very low power consumption of 5 milliwatts (mW) in power saving mode, which makes it easier for system designers to develop systems that are qualified for stringent power efficiency standards such as Energy Star. Also the μPD720210 achieves industry leading 350 mW as the power consumption even in USB 3.0 active mode.
  • Small mounting area: With the new USB 3.0 hub controller, Renesas has chosen a compact 9 x 9 mm quad flat no-lead (QFN) package to reduce the mounting area by 20% from the previous devices. The μPD720210 hub controller also integrates on-chip peripherals such as step-down regulators that lower the 5-V power supply voltage to 3.3-V and 1.05-V and charging support functionality conforming to battery charging standards. The resulting size reduction provides an industry-leading total mounting area (the total mounting area including the peripheral components required by the system), allowing system designers to realize compact systems.

These features make it easy to add ports allowing SuperSpeed data transfer via a USB 3.0 interface to products such as monitors, docking stations (function extension units that connect to notebook PCs), and TVs. In addition, the μPD720210 hub controller offers substantially reduced power consumption when devices are in standby mode or not in use, which is an important consideration in view of environmental regulations in many countries. Finally, the Renesas Electronics host controller driver stack for Microsoft Windows and device drivers supported by Linux may be used free of charge with the μPD720210.

The μPD720210 hub controller also makes it possible to build mobile docking stations that previously would not have been possible due to constraints on power or mounting area. It also enables USB universal charging features at a minimal additional cost, which were previously quite expensive to implement.

With the new hub controller, Renesas hopes to contribute to the realization of USB hub systems that are more compact and power efficient, thereby enabling faster data transfer in PCs and digital consumer electronics. Also, Renesas plans the products expansion along with the prediction of increasing data traffic in other communication devices and office automation equipment, positioning USB 3.0 as an important technology.

For more information, contact Renesas Electronics America Inc., 2880 Scott Blvd., Santa Clara, CA 95050. Phone: (408) 588-6000.

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