If you're one of those people who's always on the lookout for something strange or peculiar to fit in your computer, then HighPoint might just have what you're after, well, at least as long as a rather unusual USB 3.0 card will satisfy your needs. The card in question is the RocketU 1144A and it's as far as we're aware the first and only PCI Express x4 USB 3.0 card out there.

If you're one of those people who's always on the lookout for something strange or peculiar to fit in your computer, then HighPoint might just have what you're after, well, at least as long as a rather unusual USB 3.0 card will satisfy your needs. The card in question is the RocketU 1144A and it's as far as we're aware the first and only PCI Express x4 USB 3.0 card out there.

We're not quite sure why HighPoint has gone to the length it has to produce a four port card using no less than four individual two port ASMedia ASM1042 host controllers, especially as ASMedia offers the single port ASM1041 version which would've made a lot more sense in this case. Each host controller is only connected to a single port, so there's no bandwidth sharing at the port end.

At the other end of the card is a PLX PEX 8609 PCI Express switch which allows four x1 devices to go into a single x4 interface. One interesting feature that the PLX switch allows for is direct copying of data between the various PCI Express devices connected to it without going via the host processor. We don't know if this is a feature that HighPoint has taken advantage of this feature or not, but there doesn't seem to be any mention of it in the press release or on the product page.

HighPoint is making some bold claims about 20Gbit/s transfer speeds from this card and we have a feeling that this is highly unlikely, as that's the theoretical maximum of the four USB 3.0 ports and real world performance won't end up anywhere near that. Still, we can't fault HighPoint for trying something new, although at US$89, we can't see there being long queues for this card.

Source: HighPoint