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First Certified USB 3.0 Controller Goes On Sale

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USB 3.0 is getting closer...

This week sees the first commercial product release for the exciting new standard (also dubbed 'Superspeed' - a brand surely to be forgotten). What we get is the NEC xHCI host controller. This doesn't sound overly exciting, but it is key to take up since the controller will be used with a PCI Express interface so users can add a pair of USB 3.0 ports to their systems.

"The certification of NEC Electronics' host controller signals to the industry that the promise of SuperSpeed USB is now a reality," said Jeff Ravencraft, president and chair of the USB-IF. "Not only does it mean host device manufacturers can build and certify products that can display the SuperSpeed USB logo, it also provides peripheral device manufacturers incentive to bring to market SuperSpeed USB-enabled devices like external storage drives, digital cameras and MP3 players, which will empower consumers with unmatched USB data transfer speeds."

The Electronics 'µPD720200 host controller' (to use its full name) is backwards compatible with USB 2.0 and USB 1.1/1.0 devices (though you won't get the speed increase). It's arrival should greatly speed the acceptance of Superspeed devices into our homes and that can only be a good thing.

In related news the first USB 3.0 webcam has been unveiled and given all that bandwidth (approx 10x USB 2.0) it has a stunningly impressive specification playing back 1080p Full HD video at up to 60 frames per second. The surprisingly petite beasty is made by Point Grey Research and no price or availability info has been disclosed as yet. Still, it doesn't half show the potential of the new standard...

Links:
NEC Press Release
Webcam via Electronista

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