To USB or Not to USB


Synopsys demonstrates SuperSpeed USB 3.0

On November 17, 2008, we demonstrated a USB 3.0 Device streaming uncompressed HD video across a USB 3.0 cable at data rates exceeding 460 Megabytes per second.    To my knowledge, this is the fastest demonstration of USB 3.0 to date, and the only one demonstrating video transfers.  In addition, it is much faster than the targeted 320 Megabytes per second targeted by the USB-IF for effective throughput.  This demonstrates that the protocol is capable to moving data at these rates.  More on this later.

The demonstration consists of 2 PC platforms and 2 FPGA cards.

Let’s start with the FPGA cards.

The 2 FPGA cards are HiTech Global cards with PCI-Express interfaces.  We implement our USB 3.0 Device Controller on one, and a minimal USB 3.0 host capability on the other.  We use Rocket I/Os on the Xilinx Virtex 5 FGPA to implement the necessary signaling over the cable.

The 2 PCs are running a form of embedded Linux that has been stripped down to maximize throughput and minimize OS latencies.  The hardware and application layers are also minimized to create the fastest possible throughput. 




I’ll have pictures in a day or so when Wordpress (or my PC) is fixed so I can actually upload the photos.

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