To USB or Not to USB


USB 3.0 Host prices – Competitive Bidding


Digitimes reports that ASMedia will start selling a USB 3.0 Host Controller in June 2010 at a price point below $3 a chip.  Digitimes also reports that ASMedia will ship 10 million units by the end of 2010.  According to EverythingUSB, NEC started selling their Host Controller at $9 and has dropped the price to $6 a unit.   In addition, another company call Fresco Logic has a Host shipping on ASRock motherboards.

3 companies with host chips allows for competitive bidding.

Competitive bidding will benefit pretty much everyone because USB 3.0 will be offered at lower and lower price points in laptops and PCs.  Hopefully this makes the add-on expense small enough to include USB 3.0 as a standard feature in PCs in 2010.

PC maker add value to their products. Host chip makers sell higher volumes.  Consumers get USB 3.0 speeds.

If we estimate that NEC will ship about 21-24 million Hosts in 2010. If ASMedia ships another 10 million, this means at least 30 million USB 3.0 Hosts will ship in 2010.  If the Total Available Market is 300 million units for PCs, then this is a 10% attach rate in the first year of adoption.  I suspect few technologies have achieved this rate of growth (except maybe USB 2.0).

More USB 3.0 Peripherals

There are so many USB 3.0 Peripherals now.  It’s easily over 100 devices today.

There are many, many USB 3.0 hard drive enclosures.  An enclosure is basically a case with the USB 3.0 chip inside that converts a standard hard drive or SSD into a USB 3.0 external/portable drive.  I’ve embedded a video showing how these work just below.

RaidSonic IcyBox HDD and SDD enclosures convert SATA based drives to USB 3.0 External Drives

Enclosures on the right. Video showing the unboxing  is here.





Trancend StoreJet is a 2.5” USB 3.0 hard drive





Patriot HDD Enclosures and PCIe/ExpressCard Hosts for PCs

The Patriot Gauntlet Enclosures are for 2.5” drives.



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