SUNNYVALE, USA: PLX Technology Inc. announced the industry’s first SuperSpeed USB (USB 3.0) general-purpose peripheral controllers that bridge USB 3.0 to PCI Express (PCIe) 2.0, thus matching the high-performance 5Gbps bus speeds experts predict will be required by most consumer-electronics and industrial designs for the next five to 10 years.
With samples available in Q2’11, the new PLX USB338x family targets a broad array of applications that include tablets, mobile PCs, printers, projectors, embedded systems, multiple-input and multiple-output (MIMO) WiFi adapters, graphics/video adapters and TV tuners.
PLX’s complementary USB software suite simplifies adding a USB 3.0 peripheral port to PCIe-based systems, as well as converting PCIe endpoints to a USB 3.0 product. Existing designs with the gold-standard PLX NET2282x Hi-Speed USB 2.0 controller can easily upgrade to the new USB338x product family with minimal or no software changes. Driver stacks are already available for operating system-independent applications, as well as for common operating systems such as Windows (7, XP, Vista, and CE), Linux and VxWorks.
The new PLX USB3382 features two PCIe Gen2 x1 ports with flexible port configurations for different needs of PCIe buses, while the USB3380 is designed with one PCIe Gen2 x1 port, and both feature high-efficiency power management. The USB338x family is designed meet the difficult power constraints for battery-powered and bus-powered applications. Both solutions support PLX USB Duet® technology, which focuses on the tablet and mobile-PC market and provides the fastest PC-to-PC interconnect for data synchronization and sharing.
“SuperSpeed USB adoption has accelerated across the industry at an incredible pace, and the introduction of PLX’s general-purpose USB 3.0 peripheral controllers are a welcome addition to this rapidly expanding specification,” said Jeff Ravencraft, president, USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF). “PLX has been a long-standing USB-IF member and advocate, with a wide range of USB 1.0-, 2.0-, and 3.0-compliant devices published on the forum’s exclusive Integrators List, and we look forward to future interoperability testing of new products from this market innovator.”
“USB and Conventional PCI have already proven to be a successful interconnect pairing, with USB-to-PCI controllers having penetrated several enterprise and consumer-electronics market segments,” said Brian O’Rourke, principal analyst at In-Stat and author of the report Wired USB: High-Speed Rules, SuperSpeed on the Way. “Now, with the combination of two highly versatile, multi-gigabit-per-second standards such as USB 3.0 and PCI Express 2.0, those enterprise and consumer market possibilities expand dramatically.”
“With global designers rapidly adopting the new USB 3.0 standard, along with the deep development of PCI Express Gen2 already in the market, this mix inherently creates broad opportunities for PLX solutions,” said David Raun, PLX vice president of marketing and business development. “PLX is a market leader with products supporting both these heavily used standards, so based on customer requests it made sense to create a bridge to support their coexistence.”
Pricing for the new USB338x devices ranges from $7.00 to $8.00 in volume. The products will sample globally in Q2’11 and will be in full production in Q3’11.