To USB or Not to USB


USB 3.0 at IDF 2010

In the USB 3.0 community at IDF 2010, lots of USB 3.0 demonstrations

TI demonstrated their USB 3.0 chips.

 TI SuperSpeed USB 3.0 to SATA chip TUSB9260TI USB 3.0


TI USB 3.0 to SATA chip TUSB9260 connected to an SSD.






TI SuperSpeed USB 3.0 to SATA chip TUSB9260 connected to a BluRay Drive



Same chip connected to a BluRay Drive





TI SN65LVPE502 SuperSpeed USB ReDriver



TI SuperSpeed USB Re-Driver.  This enables longer USB cables without a Hub.








TUSB8040 SuperSpeed USB Hub 

And on the right,  you can see the TI SuperSpeed Hub.  Several USB 3.0, 2.0, and 1.1 devices connect to the hub. (I forgot to take a picture of the entire system)

For a short write-up of IDF Day 1 Keynote and the USB Community, visit TI’s USB Blog





At IDF, DisplayLink’s demonstrated Video streaming using USB 3.0  as reported by Laptop Magazine in the Video below.


Our booth neighbor in the USB 3.0 community, Gigabyte gave an early look at their Motherboards.  They all seem to have USB 3.0.  FutureLooks posted a terrific video on YouTube.  You can see the Synopsys booth and my hand in the background.  



USB 3.0 Design Challenges and USB IP

I’ve heard some weird conspiracy theories on why USB 3.0 isn’t taking off.  I simply don’t believe any of them.  USB 3.0 is hard.  Everyone working on USB 3.0 works long hours, and managers fail to understand the true challenges of USB 3.0.

Manager: It’s just like USB 2.0, it’s just faster right?

Engineer: No, it has to support all USB 3.0, 2.0, and 1.1 speeds


Manager: It’s just like PCIexpress right?

Engineer: No, it has to support all USB 3.0, 2.0, and 1.1 speeds.  The 2.0 PHY is different. The Protocol is completely different.  The PHY uses spread spectrum clocking. 

Manager: Can’t you reuse the USB 2.0 stuff we have?

Engineer: No, it’s a different protocol. We can’t get the USB 3.0 speeds if we reuse the 2.0 stuff.


Manager: Why does this take so long?

Engineer: It’s hard.

So, the host chip makers face unexpected challenges in their deployment like working transceivers.  I hope they all succeed because the industry needs every chip maker to get certified and get products out there.

For me, it points to the fact that USB 3.0 isn’t as easy as anyone thinks.  We have the IP at Synopsys.  The PHYs. The Digital Cores. The VIP. The System Level Models.  It all works.  The PHY and the Device have received certification in multiple designs now.  Choose your IP wisely.


 120 Certified SuperSpeed USB 3.0 Produc

Despite the difficulties Host providers have encountered, the EETimes reports that the USB-IF has certified 120 USB 3.0 products.  About 9-10 chips support these 120 products, I expect more in Q4 and many, many more in 2011.


The Synopsys Recycling Center


My office, when I returned from IDF.

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