Get ready for Via-powered USB 3.0 hubs


— 8:59 AM on January 5, 2010

As USB 3.0 continues to colonize more and more motherboards, Via has announced what it claims to be the world's first controller chip for USB 3.0 hubs. The VL810 SuperSpeed Hub Controller allows up to four devices to share a single USB 3.0 port, and it's backward-compatible with previous iterations of the USB standard, so users should also be able to hook up legacy devices.

Via based the VL810 on 80-nm process technology, and it says the controller's power-management features let devices "communicate latency tolerance to the host and for links to enter progressively lower power states when link partners are idle."

Conventional USB hubs may not get as much attention as they once did, at least now that most motherboards ship with a preposterous number of USB 2.0 ports to begin with. Pretty much all of the USB 3.0-capable boards we've seen have only two of the so-called SuperSpeed ports, though, so Via's new contraption may well come in handy. Of course, actual USB 3.0 devices are still few and far between right now.

   
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