Fresco Logic first with xHCI 1.0 USB 3.0 host controller

Claims over 370MB/s performance

FRESCO LOGIC HAS issued a press release stating that it is the first USB 3.0 host controller manufacturer to meet the xHCI 1.0 standard with the introduction of its new FL1009 USB 3.0 host controller. At the same time, the company has given an indication as to what kind of performance to expect of this new controller and it’s quite impressive.

It turns out that Intel quietly finalized the xHCI specification back in May, but seemingly forgot to mention it to anyone. xHCI is set to replace UHCI, OHCI and EHCI as the new USB standard, although it seems like we’re yet some way away from the day when this will happen. As xHCI is backwards compatible with all previous USB standards it should allow for easier integration of USB 3.0 and once USB 3.0 becomes the de facto standard it should also help reduce legacy drivers in modern systems.

Fresco Logic’s new FL1009 host controller is still only a two port part, but the company claims that thanks to its GoXtream engine, its host controllers are superior to its competitors in terms of performance, while remaining optimized for low-power operation. To prove how well the FL1009 performs, Fresco Logic teamed up with Symwave to run a demo using Symave’s SW6318 USB 3.0 RAID controller. The demo was held at IDF, although it didn’t seem to make the news from the show. The FL1009 managed a sequential read speed of 376.6MB/s in CrystalDiskMark 3.0 while the write speed hit 381.3MB/s.

That’s nothing short of impressive and it proves that USB 3.0 can deliver at least as good performance as SATA connected drives. A pair of SSDs were used for the test, although the press release doesn’t specify the brand or model of SSDs that were used. However, Fresco Logic didn’t stop there, as the company is really keen on showing off how good its new host controller is and also teamed up with Blackmagic Design which is a company that makes high-end video editing equipment. The demo in this case consisted of Blackmagic Design’s new Intensity Shuttle USB 3.0 connected HDMI video capture solution.

We’d take Blackmagic Design’s statement with a pinch of salt, but the company claims that Fresco Logic’s new “USB 3.0 host controller is absolutely amazing. It unlocks the quality we built into Intensity Shuttle but due to the lower performance of current USB 3.0 host controllers has remained hidden until now.” In other words, the Renesas solution doesn’t perform as well as the FL1009. Supposedly it’s so good that real time 1080p video editing is possible, something Renesas USB 3.0 host controller wouldn’t allow.

Fresco Logic has also teamed up with AMI to add BIOS support for its host controllers which should further help motherboard and notebook manufacturers to integrate the FL1009 into their solutions. Fresco Logic also claims to offer WHQL certified drivers for the FL1009, but we can’t seem to find the FL1009 in the USB-IF database, so it’s not clear if it has passed the scrutiny of the USB-IF as yet which would be the last hurdle this new solution would have to pass before it would be ready to be implemented into retail products.S|A

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