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Renesas Electronics Introduces New Third Generation USB 3.0 Host Controllers

Renesas Electronics Corporation, a premier provider of advanced semiconductor solutions, today announced the availability of its two new SuperSpeed Universal Serial Bus (USB 3.0) xHCI host controllers (part number, µPD720201 and µPD720202) for electronic devices such as PCs and digital TVs that feature faster effective data transfer speeds and reduced power consumption in low power mode.

The µPD720201 and µPD720202 devices make it easier for system designers to build electronic devices combining high-speed data transfer, compact size, and extended battery life. In addition, Renesas Electronics device drivers for Microsoft Windows with a proven track record, and device drivers with Linux support, are available for the µPD720201 and µPD720202 host controllers at no cost.

Rambus and Renesas Electronics Sign Patent License Agreement

Rambus Inc., one of the world's premier technology licensing companies, announced today it has renewed its patent license agreement with Renesas Electronics Corporation (TSE:6723). Renesas Technology Corp. and NEC Electronics Corporation, merged in April 2010 to form Renesas Electronics. This agreement covers the use of Rambus patented innovations in a broad range of logic integrated circuit (IC) products offered by Renesas Electronics. Specific terms of the agreement are confidential.

"This license with a global leader of the semiconductor industry represents continued validation of the strength of our patent portfolio," said Sharon Holt, senior vice president and general manager of the Semiconductor Business Group at Rambus. "We have enjoyed a long and positive relationship with Renesas Electronics, and we are pleased to renew this important agreement with one of the top five semiconductor companies."

Component Shortage Holding Back Radeon HD 6900 Series

Originally slated for 22 November, AMD's upcoming Radeon HD 6900 series featuring the company's new enthusiast-grade "Cayman" GPU core reportedly ran into delays. A more recent report by VR-Zone suggests that these delays are not because of any yield-issue related to the GPU, but shortage of a new high-grade driver-MOSFET (DrMOS) chip used on the reference board, sourced from Texas Instruments. The said component looks to feature a more compact package compared to the ones commonly made by Renesas and the likes, which is why AMD seems to have chosen it. The TI-made component is in short supply, and is a very recent introduction by its makers. AMD has a knack of using exotic and high-grade components on PCBs of its high-end graphics cards. A driver-MOSFET is a component that combines the driver IC, and MOSFETs into a single package.

Intel DP67BG Extreme Series Desktop Board Pictured

If you recall, at this year's Computex event held in Taipei, almost every motherboard vendor scuffled to show of their first motherboards based on the Intel P67 and H67 chipsets, that support new socket LGA1155 socket processors based on the next-generation Sandy Bridge architecture. The Intel Developer Forum (IDF) 2010 event is presenting many of them a second chance, and we're beginning to see some new designs that didn't make it to Computex. Intel's own Desktop Board division came up with a new Extreme Series motherboard, the DP67BG "Burrage". As with every other Intel Desktop Board, this one looks clean, and well spaced-out. While there's nothing fancy about the heatsinks, the glowing skull is there, and this time it's positioned properly.

The processor is powered by a 4+2 phase PWM circuit, it's wired to four DDR3 DIMM slots for dual-channel memory support. Among few of its kind, the Burrage makes room of all seven expansion slots in the ATX specification. There are two PCI-Express 2.0 x16 (x8, x8 when both are populated), three PCI-E x1, and two PCI. Apart from six SATA 3 Gb/s ports from the P67 PCH, there's an additional Marvell-made SATA controller that drives an eSATA port. Connectivity includes 8-channel HD audio, gigabit Ethernet, a number of USB 2.0 ports, FireWire, and eSATA. After being neophobic toward USB 3.0, Intel has finally embraced it on its Desktop Board brand, an NEC/Renesas controller gives out two ports on the rear-panel. This feature-set should put rest to rumors of Intel embedding USB 3.0 and SATA 6 Gb/s into its chipset. The DP67BG from Intel should be out when the first-wave of LGA1155 processors make it to the market.

AMD Readies New Southbridge Chipset with Native USB 3.0 Support

Although USB 3.0 and SATA 6 Gb/s served as features central to new motherboard models by manufacturers for an entire year, their adoption by chipset vendors has been rather slow. While AMD has integrated SATA 6 Gb/s into its SB850 southbridge, which features a 6-port SATA 6 Gb/s RAID controller, neither Intel nor AMD have USB 3.0 integrated, with no real indication Intel doing so in the foreseeable future. Sources in the motherboard industry, however, reveal that AMD is designing a new southbridge that integrates a USB 3.0 controller, just like present chipsets have USB 2.0.

AMD's move follows a recent announcement of collaboration with Renesas, the company behind the popular NEC uPD720200 controller, to promote USB 3.0 as an industry standard, and a new universal UASP driver model for USB 3.0 controllers. The new southbridge is codenamed "Hudson D1", which will release along with AMD's 40 nm Ontario Fusion APUs in Q4-2010. The company also plans to release the Llano Fusion APU in 2011.

Renesas Introduces New USB 3.0 Controller with 85 Percent Power Draw Reduction

Renesas Electronics Corporation, a premier provider of advanced semiconductor solutions, today announced the availability of its new SuperSpeed Universal Serial Bus (USB 3.0) host controller (part number µPD720200A), featuring 85 percent reduced power consumption compared to the company's existing host controller (part number µPD720200) when peripheral devices, such as mice, are not connected to the ports.

Supporting fast data transfer rates of up to 5 gigabits per second (Gbps), the µPD720200A device achieves low power consumption of 50 milliwatts (mW) with no peripheral connection to the ports, reduced by 85 percent from the company's existing USB 3.0 host controller. The new host controller also has the same footprint as the previous host controller, which makes it possible for system designers to accommodate their designs on the same board used for the previous device, the µPD720200. These advancements enable system designers to develop notebook PCs that boast longer battery life, yet maintain high data transfer rates.

Renesas Electronics Collaborates with AMD to Accelerate Promotion of USB 3.0 Standard

Renesas Electronics Corporation, a premiere provider of advanced semiconductor solutions, today announced its collaboration with AMD to promote the new SuperSpeed Universal Serial Bus (USB 3.0) standard.

In December 2009, Renesas Electronics (formerly NEC Electronics Corporation) released its USB Attached SCSI Protocol (UASP) driver, supporting the new industry-standard, highly efficient mass-storage protocol suitable for use on SuperSpeed USB to overcome the performance boundaries of the Bulk Only Transfer (BOT) protocol. The new UASP driver will be used with Renesas Electronics' USB 3.0 xHCI (eXtensible Host Controller Interface) host controller, which entered the market as the world's first USB 3.0 host controller in June 2009. Having shipped over three million units of the host controller, as a dedicated promoter of USB 3.0 standard, Renesas Electronics is now targeting monthly production of two million units starting April 2010 and aims to continually contribute to advancement and standardization of USB.

Zotac Beefs-Up GeForce GTX 200 with 15 Phase VRM Design

Armed with a creative engineering department, Zotac is in the news for innovating a new graphics card PCB design every now and then. For NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 200 series alone, the firm developed several performance and value oriented PCB designs. It decided to up the ante with a new single-GPU PCB design that is compatible with all GTX 200 series GPUs from NVIDIA, and is out with a GeForce GTX 260-based model out for the Chinese market. The new PCB focuses on strong power circuitry that allow high stability for overclocking. The 12-layered PCB is jam-packed with high-grade power circuitry, which ensures the GeForce GTX 260 GPU runs at 800 MHz out of the box, with even more overclocking headroom to spare.

To begin with, the vGPU portion consists of a lavish 12-phase digital PWM circuit with Renesas LFPAK MOSFETs, BL high-capacity PWM chokes, and Panasonic SP-CAP, flatbed capacitors and a dedicated VRM controller. The vMem portion has a 3-phase power circuit that uses the same kinds of components as the vGPU, and has its own VRM controller. The PCB draws auxiliary power from PCI-E 8 + 6 pin connectors. It holds place for two more memory chips indicating that the same PCB could be used for a GeForce GTX 285 based SKU in the future. On the outputs front, a DVI-D, HDMI, and D-Sub make for the card's connectivity. The new Zotac GeForce GTX 260 model will be cooled by an Arctic Cooling Accelero Xtreme GTX cooler. It is made exclusive for the Chinese market, with a price of RMB 1399 (US $205). Technical data from its electical-testing can be viewed here.

NEC Electronics and Renesas to Integrate Business Operations

NEC Electronics Corporation (NEC Electronics), Renesas Technology Corp. (Renesas), NEC Corporation (NEC), Hitachi, Ltd. (Hitachi), and Mitsubishi Electric Corporation (Mitsubishi Electric) today agreed to enter into negotiations to integrate business operations at NEC Electronics and Renesas.
NEC Electronics was established in 2002, separating from NEC, and Renesas was established in 2003, integrating semiconductor units at Hitachi and Mitsubishi Electric. Both as leading semiconductor companies, NEC Electronics and Renesas provide a wide variety of semiconductor solutions, primarily specializing in microcontroller units (MCUs). In light of fierce global competition in the semiconductor market, NEC Electronics and Renesas have agreed to explore the possibility of business integration in order to further strengthen their business foundations and technological assets while increasing corporate value through enhanced customer satisfaction. By integrating the world's two largest MCU suppliers, the new company will provide one of the most competitive MCU product lineups throughout the world.
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