West Bridge Benicia Cypress announces USB 3.0 enabled West Bridge

So you got your 1GHz+ dual core smartphone or tablet and want to watch some videos on it, or at least you did until you remembered that it only has a sluggish USB 2.0 port on it. Although this is unlikely to change overnight, Cypress Semiconductor's now has a solution which we'll hopefully be seeing in both smartphones and tablets before the end of the year that adds USB 3.0 support.

So you got your 1GHz+ dual core smartphone or tablet and want to watch some videos on it, or at least you did until you remembered that it only has a sluggish USB 2.0 port on it. Although this is unlikely to change overnight, Cypress Semiconductor's now has a solution which we'll hopefully be seeing in both smartphones and tablets before the end of the year that adds USB 3.0 support.

Cypress is offering something that the company refers to as a West Bridge (think South Bridge/North Bridge of PC past) which incorporates a range of features of which most are storage related. The latest addition is the Benicia, also known as CYWB0263 which doesn't quite roll of your tongue quite as easily. It features what Cypress claims is a "highly optimized Data transfer Offload Engine" that is said to double the IOPS of mobile devices to allow for "sideloading" of content at up to 200MB/s among other things.

Add to that Cypress' "Simultaneous Link to Independent Multimedia" technology, or SLIM II and you're gaining improved data throughput between peripherals, memory and processor for performance boost to the entire device. Cypress claims improved performance during boot, page loading and switching between apps among the things that benefit from the optimizations to its latest West Bridge.

West Bridge Benicia Cypress announces USB 3.0 enabled West Bridge

The Benicia West Bridge is also Cypress' first West Bridge to incorporate USB 3.0 support and this is what in part allows for the high-speed data transfers. It also has another added benefit, as USB 3.0 can deliver 900mA compared to 500mA of USB 2.0 and Cypress claims that this can reduce the battery charge time of mobile devices by up to 50 percent.

Other benefits of Benicia includes support for SDXC cards with UHS-I and e-MMC4.4x Flash memory. The latter would result in improved internal Flash memory performance, something akin to putting an SSD in your PC or notebook. Another new feature is called EZ-Dtect which allows for charger and accessory detection without the need of additional power management chips.

The Benicia West Bridge also contains a configurable ARM9 processor core that can be operated as a low-power audio co-processor. A lower-cost version of Benicia simply called Bay is also available, but it trades USB 3.0 for USB 2.0 and which hopefully won't be as popular with the handset and tablet makers as Benicia.

According to the press release, Cypress is already working with "multiple top-tier phone and tablet manufacturers who have shown keen interest in this solution" which sounds like great news to us. We can't wait until the first phones and tablets with USB 3.0 support arrives, which will hopefully happen this year, rather than next, although we wouldn't bet on it considering how long time it takes before a new handset arrives in the market.

Source: Cypress