VLI to launch more USB 3.0 solutions this year

Might arrive before its host controllers

VLI DIDN’T TELL us too much about future products in our Q&A with them last year, but now we’ve gotten our hands on some details covering three upcoming products from the company of which all are rather interesting. We’re looking at improved versions of products the company already offers, but the improvements are well worth it.

First up we have the VL701 USB 3.0 to SATA 3Gbps bridge chip which is low power model of the current VL700 which is a USB 3.0 to SATA 3Gbps bridge, but should otherwise offer pretty much the same features. That means UASP support which is the key feature you want on anything storage related when it comes to USB 3.0.

Next up we have the VL710 which again is a USB 3.0 to SATA bridge, but this time around we’re talking SATA 6Gbps support. This should make the VL710 an ideal solution for SSDs, but VIA has gone one step further here and added support for two SATA 6Gbps devices in hardware RAID. We don’t know which RAID modes are supported, but we’d guess RAID 0 and 1 as only two drives are supported. This could make for some interesting external storage solutions with USB 3.0 support.

The third and final new product will be the VL811 which is an improved version of VLI’s VL810 4-port USB 3.0 hub. In this case it’s a rather small, yet important improvement as the VL811 gains support for the USB Battery Charging standard which allows it to provide extra power to various portable electronics devices such as mobile phones, as long as the device in question also supports the standard. This should help speed up the charging time of whatever is plugged into the hub.

The VL811 is meant to be sampling to customers already, although the VL701 and VL710 aren’t expected to arrive until later this year. Let’s just hope VIA will have less hassle getting these products through the USB-IF certification compared with what appears to be happening with its USB 3.0 host controllers.S|A

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