TI WAS SHOWING off a bunch of USB3 goodies at IDF, with hubs, cards and a re-transmission chip on the, err, cards. Some are USB certified, others will be soon.
USB3 SATA converter board
The first one is TUSB9260, and if you can’t tell from the name, it is a USB3 to SATA Bridge chip. Once this hits the market, we will hopefully be seeing lots of external USB3 drives, something that is long overdue. As you can tell from the logo, this one is currently a go.
TI USB3 Hub chip
Next we have the TUSB8040 USB3 hub, another long overdue part. It isn’t certified yet, but from what we hear, it won’t be all that long. Between this and the VIA hub controller, things will be better soon. We hope. USB3 hubs will be a good thing for everyone in the industry, and their absence is a sore spot for the standard.
PCIe USB3 card
Humorously enough, the card above is a TUSB7340 based USB3 PCIe card, four ports from a single PCIe slot. If I was being cynical, I would point out that a single USB3 port has the same bandwidth as the PCIe2 1x slot it is plugged into, so a 4x PCIe card would be smarter, but that is nitpicking. In any case, this can’t come out soon enough.
Retransmit your USB3 signal
Last up, we have something that isn’t quite a USB3 part, although it plugs into the USB3 ecosystem. It is technically called the SN65LVPE502, and as the name makes clear, it is a retransmission chip for USB3. Since it is not on either end, it does not have to be certified, so no logo on this one.
What the SN65LVPE502 does is take a USB3 signal and performs deemphasis and equalization, then retransmits it. This is the long way of saying longer transmission distances without the worry of cable length issues. USB3 is limited to about 3M cables, but it is more of a db/M issue than raw length.
Hopefully when the SN65LVPE402 comes out, along with the rest of the chips, the world will be a better place, birds will sing, and CEOs will start saying honest things. Nah, but external storage will be much faster, and that is a good start.S|A