ej168 Etron Technologys EJ168 USB 3.0 host controller passes USB IF certification

Good news for everyone with a Gigabyte or ASRock motherboard (or any other motherboard for that matter) with an Etron EJ168 USB 3.0 host controller, as it has finally passed the USB-IF certification. This controller was first demoed at Computex last year, but it's taken this long to gain the stamp of approval needed to use the Super Speed USB logo.

Good news for everyone with a Gigabyte or ASRock motherboard (or any other motherboard for that matter) with an Etron EJ168 USB 3.0 host controller, as it has finally passed the USB-IF certification. This controller was first demoed at Computex last year, but it's taken this long to gain the stamp of approval needed to use the Super Speed USB logo.

Unlike Renesas/NEC and ASMedia USB 3.0 host controllers, Etron's EJ168 is xHCI 1.0 compliant, whereas most of the other currently available USB 3.0 host controllers only support the 0.96 version of the xHCI spec. The major differences between the 0.96 version and the 1.0 version of the xHCI specification are said to be improved driver and hardware efficiency resulting in improved performance and improved backwards compatibility with older USB devices.

This is a huge boost for the Taiwanese USB 3.0 host controller makers, although VLI is still waiting to get through the certification process. Hopefully it will also mean a wider adaptation of USB 3.0 as not only does this mean that consumers have to worry about what chip their motherboard uses, but it should hopefully also lead to lower prices over time as competition intensifies. We'll try to catch up with the USB 3.0 host manufacturers at Computex and bring you some details on what's next.