Renesas Doubles Its USB 3.0 Controller Chips Production

Renesas Electronics (joint venture between NEC, Hitachi and Mitsubishi Electric) announced that the company radically expanded manufacturing capacity for its USB 3.0 controller which currently occupies 95% of the market.

An overview of Renesans chips. USB 3.0 controller is in lower part of the picture

Since the first deliveries in September 2009, Renesas Electronics delivered 30 million of USB 3.0 controllers to the motherboard and storage manufacturers. According to the company, current production capacity of three million chips per month is going to be doubled, all the way to six million chips per month.

This will raise capacity from current 36 million chips per year to 72 million and our sources are telling us that more than a third of new capacity is already bought in advance (backlog order). Current market demands at least six million chips per month and that number is expected to double in 2012. Their competitors such as ASMedia Technology, Etron Technology, VIA Labs (a division of VIA Technologies) haven’t been able to make a significant dent into the demand of Renesas controllers, even though they are the most expensive on the market. Situation might change with the arrival of Texas Instruments, which recently received USB-IF certification of their 4-port controller.

The situation for Renesas Electronics and VIA will get a bit complicated following the arrival of Llano-based chipset to the market (the "A" Series) which feature native USB 3.0 implementation. Intel isn’t expected to come to the party until CES 2012 and the launch of 22nm Ivy Bridge processors and the 7-Series chipsets.