NEC wins race for first SuperSpeed USB device

Looking for USB 3.0? You're in the right NEC of the woods
Looking for USB 3.0? You're in the right NEC of the woods

NEC has apparently won the race to push out the first certified SuperSpeed USB device – with a host controller the first commercially available USB 3.0 product.

NEC's host controller uses a PCIe gen 2 system to allow easy addition of two USB 3.0 interfaces, and the USB Implementers Forum has stated that it is the first of the next generation of products.

"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 chairman 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."

What is it?

So what exactly does SuperSpeed USB, or USB 3.0, bring for the consumer?

Primarily the new standards allow for a significant power and performance enhancement – with data transfer ten times faster than USB 2.0 interfaces.

The specification was made available back in November and NEC Electronics' host controller – which has been out since May – is the first to be given the SuperSpeed certification.

"NEC Electronics has supported the development of SuperSpeed USB technology since the earliest efforts, and it is gratifying to help make the technology become a reality," said Masao Hirasawa, General Manager, SoC Systems Division, NEC Electronics Corporation.

"Certification is an important step that we feel will help enable the market for SuperSpeed USB-enabled products, as it provides a level of assurance to end users that host and peripheral devices have passed USB-IF interoperability testing."

Patrick Goss

Patrick Goss is the ex-Editor in Chief of TechRadar. Patrick was a passionate and experienced journalist, and he has been lucky enough to work on some of the finest online properties on the planet, building audiences everywhere and establishing himself at the forefront of digital content.  After a long stint as the boss at TechRadar, Patrick has now moved on to a role with Apple, where he is the Managing Editor for the App Store in the UK.