To USB or Not to USB


Windows 8 to support SuperSpeed USB 3.0

It’s finally official, Windows 8 will support SuperSpeed USB 3.0.  Microsoft’s blog really lays out all the virtual and real hardware testing that Microsoft has to go through to make sure the drivers work, and work well. with billions of USB products.

Microsoft hasn’t announced a Windows 8 availability date, but we know from IDF Beijing that the PC Chipset makers will release USB 3.0 support in 2012.  So we can speculate that Windows 8 and these PC Chipsets will ship at the same time.  Links to the IDF Beijing reports that April Blog entry.

Interestingly, Microsoft uses a combination of a virtual approach and hardware testing.

The Virtual Approach looks similar to our Virtual Platforms.

The ASSP looks like a flash/thumb drive.  It has a USB 3.0 Device Chip in it.  It basically exercises many different USB transfer types varying parameters like packet sizes.  You can see the Microsoft USB Test Tool (MUTT) with it’s creator David Hargrove.  If I can find purchasing info, I’ll post it below.Figure 4 - MUTT Designer David Hargrove, with MUTT device

David Hargrove and Microsoft USB Test Tool – Picture from Microsoft Blog Site


USB 3.0 Host Chip ASPs

I made an error in the graph and pricing in the last entry (yesterday).  My apologies.

In fact, the January time frame I reported that while Digitimes had some source saying prices would drop to $1.70-$1.80, in fact Host ASPs remained up around $2.35 per chip.

What Digitimes is saying is that prices will drop to $1.20 next year, but now Renesas/NEC have prices up at about $2.00 per chip while ASMedia is down at about $1.50 per chip.

“Renesas reportedly has notified its partners that it plans to lower prices for its 2-port controller chips to below US$1.20 from about US$2 currently. Comparable 2-port chips from ASMedia are currently available at US$1.50-1.70.” DigiTimes August, 19, 2011

I’ve corrected the graph here.


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