vli 1 VLI shows off some new USB 3.0 solutions at Computex

VIA Labs Inc. or VLI had a few new USB 3.0 solutions to show off as well at Computex, some rather interesting solutions and some other ones that have a lot more practical usage. VLI has as yet to pass USB-IF certification for its host controllers, but is expecting to do so later this month, which means that the first four-port USB 3.0 host controller might appear on more motherboards in the near future.

VIA Labs Inc. or VLI had a few new USB 3.0 solutions to show off as well at Computex, some rather interesting solutions and some other ones that have a lot more practical usage. VLI has as yet to pass USB-IF certification for its host controllers, but is expecting to do so later this month, which means that the first four-port USB 3.0 host controller might appear on more motherboards in the near future.

First up we have the VL812 which is VLI's new USB 3.0 hub, something that might not sound all that special, but you'd be surprised how many new features VLI has managed to add compared to the VL810. The VL810 had very basic hub functionality and that was it, whereas the VL812 now support device charging. Not only is it compliant with USB battery charging 1.2, but it also has a special charging mode for Apple devices. The latter means that as long as the hub maker implements support for it, each port can deliver enough power to charge an iPad.

vli 1 VLI shows off some new USB 3.0 solutions at Computex

This is unlikely to happen though, but the actual hub can be set up so that one of the ports delivers more power than the other three and this is what we'd expect to see once the VL812 arrives in retail products. The prototype board in display was capable of delivering even more power, although as USB hubs are low cost items and for the fact that few USB devices requires more than 2.1A, this was purely done for testing purposes.

Next up VLI was demoing its USB 3.0 SATA bridge controller, although the current version is stuck at SATA 3Gbps, faster models are under development. VLI has implemented support for UASP, so the good news here is that performance should be as good as the USB 3.0 interface allows for whatever device attached. Another neat feature is that VLI has managed to come up with a really low power design, so 2.5-inch hard drives won't need any additional power to work with this solution, something many competing solutions aren't capable of.

vli 2 VLI shows off some new USB 3.0 solutions at Computex

As you can see from the picture, things are getting a little bit more complex and what you're looking at here is a USB 3.0 docking solution which offers additional USB 3.0 ports via a hub, a DisplayLink adapter for display connectivity and USB audio. Other features could also be implemented and this is once again just a prototype board.

vli 3 VLI shows off some new USB 3.0 solutions at Computex

However, one of the features on this board, that you wouldn't know was there if you didn't know it was there, is a tiny little chip which can be seen on the brown PCB plugged into the USB 3.0 hub. This is an insanely clever little device that VLI has developed that allows non USB 3.0 devices to appear as USB 3.0 devices. Ok, this might sound really dodgy, as it would be possible to produce "fake" USB 3.0 devices using it. Let us explain why VLI has created it, but it means that we need to move on to the next product we were shown.