The controller improves power efficiency, reduces BoM cost and integrates even more components. Moreover, it is one of the first to come compliant with the new USB-IF hub controller certification enabling wide compatibility with other industry products.
Each type of USB device requires testing before it is allowed on to the Integrators list and permitted to use the USB-IF logo on their products. In order to enable measurement of compliance in real products, the USB-IF had instituted a Compliance Program that provides reasonable measures of acceptability, and the new Renesas’ USB 3.0 hub controller is now compliant to this standard.
What is a hub controller?
A host controller interface (HCI) is a register-level interface that enables a host controller for USB or FireWire hardware to communicate with a host controller driver in software. USB Hubs expand the USB host’s connection capability to allow more than one device to be connected to each host port by repeating and branching the bus. The driver software is typically provided with an operating system of a personal computer, but may also be implemented by application-specific devices such as a microcontroller. On the expansion card or motherboard controller, this involves custom logic, with digital logic engines in FPGAs plus analog circuitry managing the high-speed differential signals. On the software side, it requires a device driver (called a Host Controller Driver, or HCD).
The uPD720210 is a 4-Port Universal Serial Bus 3.0 hub controller, which complies with Universal Serial Bus 3.0 Specification and is 100 per cent compatible with Renesas’ industry standard host controllers. The controller provides four downstream USB ports. These ports are fully backwards compatible with all previous versions of USB, LS (low-Speed), FS (full-Speed), HS (high-Speed), SS (SuperSpeed) operation.
Renesas Electronics Corporation also announced that its latest USB 3.0 hub controller (part number uPD720210) has passed USB 3.0 compliance and certification testing by the USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF). It is one of the world’s first USB 3.0 hub controllers to achieve this recognition. The “Certified SuperSpeed USB (USB 3.0)” certification from the USB-IF offers manufacturers and consumers the assurance that the device will function in accordance with the specification and will interoperate with the billions of USB-enabled devices that exist in the market today.
Benefits for Design Engineers
For starters, the USB-IF compatibility guarantees best performance while working with the other industry leading USB 3.0 host controllers. The improved design of the controller shows greater integration of commonly required external components such as voltage regulators. This also results in an overall reduction on the BoM cost for customers. Additionally, it features low power consumption – in low-power mode the device consumes just 10mW of power.
· Interface Standard: USB3.0
· USB ports: 1 upstream ports, 4 downstream ports
· VDD: 3.3V, 1.05V
· Clock: 24MHz Xtal clock input
· Package: 76 pin QFN (9x9mm)
· Ta: 0-70°C
This hub can be used in all applications where traditionally USB hubs have been used, like as a hub integrated in a PC, as a USB storage device or for a Network Attached Storage (NAS). Additionally, you can use it as a standalone hub, monitor hub or a PC docking station.
Samples of Renesas Electronics’ USB-IF-certified uPD720210 hub controller are available now in a 76-pin QFN package, and are priced at US$3.50 per unit.