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WD and NEC Electronics Collaborate to Promote SuperSpeed USB 3.0 Standard With New Storage Interface Technology

WD® (NYSE: WDC), the world’s leader in external storage solutions, and NEC Electronics Corporation (TOKYO: 6723), a leading provider of semiconductor solutions, today announced that the companies have collaborated to promote the new SuperSpeed Universal Serial Bus (USB) 3.0 standard, a next-generation interface to be used in a wide range of electronic devices including PCs, PC peripherals, and digital appliances.

USB 3.0 is capable of supporting data transfer rates of up to 5 gigabits per second (Gbps), which is 10 times faster than the previous high-speed USB 2.0 transfer speeds. With its higher speeds and enhanced power efficiency, external hard disk drives are the first SuperSpeed USB 3.0 devices to appear on the market.

As the first step toward WD’s and NEC Electronics’ goal to promote the SuperSpeed USB 3.0 standard, the companies plan to develop a USB Attached SCSI Protocol (UASP) driver to deliver hard drives with very high performance, mass-storage capacity. UASP is a new industry-standard, high-performance mass-storage protocol being developed for SuperSpeed USB 3.0 to overcome the performance boundaries of the Bulk Only Transfer (BOT) protocol, which has been used for traditional USB 2.0 speeds. The new UASP driver will be used with NEC Electronics’ USB 3.0 xHCI (eXtensible Host Controller Interface) host controller (part number µPD720200), which appeared on the market as the world’s first USB 3.0 host controller in June 2009.

Key features of the new UASP driver

(1) Support for the UASP mass-storage protocol

(2) Data transfer rate is enhanced by 30 percent, with optimized power efficiency and smooth interoperability, compared to the existing BOT protocol

(3) NEC Electronics’ license program is available for any LSI (large scale integration) vendors who develop UASP-based LSI devices

“The wide adoption of external storage, for both expanding and backing up internal computer storage, highlights the need for faster interface transfer rates. The USB 3.0 interface offers a significant advance in data transfer speed,” said Robert Caddy, Jr., vice president of engineering for WD’s Branded Products Group. “We are pleased to collaborate with NEC Electronics as a leading supplier of USB host devices in the introduction of USB 3.0 technology to the storage market.”

“Partnering with WD enables us to combine our USB transfer technology with WD’s data storage technology and provide added value to our customers,” said Masao Hirasawa, deputy general manager, Home Multimedia Division, NEC Electronics Corporation. “Starting with the new HDDs, WD and NEC Electronics are working together as the industrial leaders to expand USB 3.0 marketplace offerings with the highest quality and performance solutions while speeding time to market.”

About WD

WD, one of the storage industry's pioneers and long-time leaders, provides products and services for people and organizations that collect, manage and use digital information. The company designs and produces reliable, high-performance hard drives and solid state drives that keep users' data accessible and secure from loss. Its advanced technologies are configured into applications for client and enterprise computing, embedded systems and consumer electronics, as well as its own consumer storage and media products.

WD was founded in 1970. The company's storage products are marketed to leading OEMs, systems manufacturers, selected resellers and retailers under the Western Digital® and WD brand names. Visit the Investor section of the company's Web site (www.westerndigital.com) to access a variety of financial and investor information.

About NEC Electronics

NEC Electronics Corporation (TOKYO: 6723) specializes in semiconductor products encompassing advanced technology solutions for the high-end computing and broadband networking markets; system solutions for the mobile handset, PC peripheral, automotive and digital consumer markets; and multi-market solutions for a wide range of customer applications. NEC Electronics Corporation has subsidiaries worldwide including NEC Electronics America, Inc. and NEC Electronics (Europe) GmbH. More information about NEC Electronics worldwide can be found at www.necel.com.

This press release contains forward-looking statements, including statements relating to the emergence of USB 3.0 in the marketplace and the development of a USB Attached SCSI Protocol driver. These forward-looking statements are based on current management expectations, and actual results may differ materially as a result of several factors, including: challenges faced in new product development, business conditions generally, and other risks and uncertainties listed in WD’s recent SEC filings, including its Form 10-Q for the first fiscal quarter of 2010. WD undertakes no obligation to update these forward-looking statements to reflect new information or events or for any other reason.

Western Digital, WD and the WD logos are registered trademarks of Western Digital Technologies, Inc. in the U.S. and other countries. Other marks may be mentioned herein that belong to other companies. All other brand and product names mentioned herein are the property of their respective owners. As used for transfer rate or interface, megabyte per second (MBps) = one million bytes per second, and gigabit per second (Gbps) = one billion bits per second.

About Business Wire
Copyright © 2009 Business Wire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Business Wire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Business Wire. Business Wire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

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