To USB or Not to USB


USB 3.0 in a PC, A Coffee proof USB 3.0 Flash Drive (More), The Kindle & USB


HP’s all in one TouchSmart 520 PC has 2 USB 3.0 Ports included in a beautiful, single unit touchscreen PC.

HP TouchSmart 520 PC

It has a BluRay burner, which is pretty cool too.  So HP beats Apple in features here. Read the PCWorld Review article here.


ADATA now waterproofed USB drives, so you can carry these around when you go scuba diving or stir your coffee with them.

You should note that the top speeds of these USB 3.0 drivers is 100 MB per second.

Top USB 2.0 speeds are 35 MB per second. Top USB 3.0 speeds are 350MB per second.

The ADATA speed is still 3x the speed of USB 2.0 which is definitely faster.  The speed limiting factor is actually the flash memory. It uses memory more expensive than memory found in today’s USB 2.0 drives, but still slower than needed to get the fastest USB 3.0 speeds.  Just keep this in mind.





The Kindle & USB – Viewer Mail


Ned writes in “"Interesting blog about the Kindle Fire and iPad.  I can’t, however, figure out what it has to do with USB…”

(Ned isn’t his real name.)

I’m glad you asked this question Ned.


This Tablet, the Kindle has only one wired interface, it’s USB 2.0.  It’s used for both charging and for content transfer.

For example, If you keep your music in the “Amazon Cloud” you can download via WiFi.

But, most people (I think) already have their entire MP3 library on a USB hard drive or a PC or both somewhere.

So it’s a lot faster to plug your Kindle Fire into a laptop or PC, and transfer all your Britney Spears and Rihanna music to your device.

You could upload your music to the Amazon Cloud, or even the Apple iCloud.  You’d then have access anywhere. And you could stream to your device.

Of course you need Wi-Fi or Broadband access to download these items.  So you still want to download with USB 2.0.

Why do you care?

Well, you’ll still need to charge your device now and in 2014.

And you’ll have even more content.

And you might not be willing to pay for a huge “cloud” to store all your data.

Are you going to trust all your kid’s photos to a single, on-line storage facility at Amazon or Apple?

Will you pay $500 a year for the storage, when a USB 3.0 drive costs only $100?


You buy 2 USB 3.0 hard drives. You store your stuff there, and keep a small amount on the cloud.

So you will have USB 2.0 now and USB 3.0 soon on all your tablets and smart phones so you can keep carrying around a gazillion videos you recorded, pictures you took, and movies/TV shows you want to watch.


Kindle Fire TechRepublic Teardown

Here’s a picture from the TechRepublic teardown of the Kindle Fire.


It’s interesting to me because the RAM chip is mounted directly on top of the TI OMAP 4430 chip underneath.  As a digital guy I don’t know why someone does this, except to improve performance, and maybe lower power required.  Someone send me an e-mail to explain why or post a comment below.


You will see the TI OMAP 4430 actually appears to have 2 USB controllers.

One is an HSOTG port on the top right.

The other is in the bottom left, and looks like a USB 2.0 Host controller.


The new OMAP 5 platform as has 1 USB DRD port and 3 USB 3.0 ports. Block diagram and description can be seen here in my earlier blog entry on OMAP 5 and Tablets.

So TI’s already moving the next platform onto USB 3.0, so in 2 years we would see TI OMAP tablets with USB 3.0.



Post your questions in the comments below (or send me e-mails)

And here’s today’s Donut.

San Jose-20111202-00383


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