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ExpressCard USB 3.0 controllers


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2 x USB3.0 ExpressCard working on X201 with Mavericks:


1) GMYLE BC628 34mm USB3.0 Adapter (ASMedia 1042 chipset)



2) AKE BC398 54mm USB3.0 Adapter (NEC Renesas uPD720202 chipset)




GenericUSBXHCI.kext  supports both. you can install it from Source Project (search Google)

I got 2.5Gbps,  which is pretty good comparing with USB2.0 480Mbps. I am not sure, ExpressCard slot on X201 is version 1.0 or 2.0,  or above cards are designed as 1x ExpressCard.


I preferred ExpressCard 54  in X201,  it just fills in all gaps, it seems more steady to plugin and out USB device with it. and uPD720202 seems more stable for hot swapping than ASMedia 1042!


I read somewhere that ExpressCard can only reach 2.5Gbps as maximum bandwidth.  it does not matter the ExpressCard slot is 1x or 2x.  so the speed is correct.


Download my GenericUSBXHCI.kext: GenericUSBXHCI.kext.zip  (or http://yaodi.zzl.org/GenericUSBXHCI.kext.zip)

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I also found and tested NEC uPD720202 chip based Express/34 because Levono T410, T420 only have Express/34 slot.
It works same as Express/54 above, But only one issue to be aware,   it seems inside the card, it use some cheap D/A converter.  So if I connect a USB3 thumb drive. it is OK.  external USB3 hard drive which has its own 5V/2A adapter,   it is still OK.   But if it is bus-powered external Hard Drive. no way to get it running and connected.  The hard drive just cannot get enough power from the card to spin up (5400 rpm or 7200 rpm).  I tested 2 cards.  the same result.

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I changed to this Nanotech ExpressCard 34 USB3.0 card that has native support for OS X:




Edit: This card is natively supported from 10.7.5 to Catalina 10.15.7. Reportedly, it uses an ASMedia chipset (not a Fresco one).

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This actually seems to work OOB (so to speak) with Generic USB3.0 kext (I used Rehabman's latest).


The BC628 certainly works up to Yosemite 10.10.5 under which it shows 2 x controllers in SysProfiler->USB:



Under El Capitan 10.11.4, no controllers get displayed in SysProfiler but the card does work with USB2.0 and USB3.0 devices (I tested with USB keys of both types).



Comparative BlackMagic tests (max values observed) on my SandyBridge Latitude E6220:

  • USB2.0 key in laptop built-in USB2.0 ports: 2.7MB/s Write, 12.3MB/s Read
  • USB2.0 key in GMYLE BC628 adapter: 2.9MB/s Write, 12.8MB/s Read
  • -----
  • USB3.0 key in laptop built-in USB2.0 ports: 8.1MB/s Write, 31.6MB/s Read
  • USB3.0 key in GMYLE BC628 adapter: 8.7MB/s Write, 62.4MB/s Read
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Received the AKE-branded NEC UPD720202-based ExpressCard I bought for even cheaper on the bay (from China)... Slotted it in and it worked OOB with the Generic XHCI kext installed.



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Cards working under Sierra in an identical manner as under El Capitan (no controller listed in SysProfiler). They just require the Generic USB3.0 XHCI kext.


Here the GMYLE adapter:


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