Via Labs has at last obtained a USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF) certification for its USB 3.0 controller ICs specifically for flash drives and is ready to start shipping.
It has obtained USB-IF certification for USB 3.0 ICs for external HDDs and is also applying for certification for USB 3.0 host controller ICs.
USB 3.0 offers massive speed jumps over USB 2.0, but so far hasn’t become standard. Back in September it looked as though NEC and AMD, the two current suppliers, could relax in terms of competition with reports that four design houses, Asustek, Via, Etron and Fresco Logic were all struggling to get chips out by the end of this year.
Designers are having trouble coming up with their own USB 3.0 software. This is partly down to Windows 7, which doesn’t natively support the kit. As a further kick these devices also need to pass the USB-IF certification.
NEC, has so far led the way shipping its USB 3.0 controller ICs to manufacturers who produce notebooks, motherboards and PCI Express interface cards.
NEC has been the primary supplier of USB 3.0 controllers, having started volume shipments last September.