To USB or Not to USB


State of USB – Spring 2013 – Part 4 – Tablet, Phablets, Phones and Mobile Apps Processors

As I sit here at my son’s baseball game typing up this blog entry, I wonder if I should be typing up a blog entry at my son’s baseball game.

The State of USB – Spring 2013 – Tablets, Ultra books, and Phones

Sadly, USB 3.0 has not yet appeared it phones.

It should have. It hasn’t.

Now that that, is out of the way, let’s talk about why USB 3.0 should be in more phones.

Mobile Applications Processors with USB 3.0

1)      TI OMAP 5 (announced in 2011)

2)      Ivy Bridge (shipped in 100M units) not really a mobile apps processor, but used extensively in Ultrabooks

3)      Samsung Exynos 5 (announced in 2012)

4)      nVidia Tegra 4 (announced in April 2013)

5)      Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 (announced in 2012)

Let’s take them out of order because that’s the way my mind works


Ivy Bridge

Ivy Bridge has shipped in 100 M devices.

Some will say the Ivy Bridge tablets are just PCs.  Well, since they have touch screens and 5 hours of battery life, I think they are tablets.

There are 4 (at least) that are shipping now

The Microsoft Surface Pro, Samsung, TCL, and Dell Tablets.

 Microsoft Surface Pro

 Samsung Tablet

 Dell 18 inch tablet


Announced in 2011 and demonstrated at CES 2012, TI OMAP 5 has USB 3.0 fully integrated.  Although TI has apparently refocused the TI OMAP 5 designs directed at automotive.  Which is good, because, lets face it, in car systems with navigation and entertainment are pretty much just mobile tablets with touch screens.

nVidia Tegra 4

Last year Fudzilla said the Tegra 4 would kick off the USB 3.0 tablet revolution

This Tegra 4 will likely debut this summer in the nVidia Shield, which is a gaming tablet with a controller. I can’t actually tell if the controller is detachable from the tablet. I suspect it has to be.

Samsung Exynos 5

The Exynos 5 started shipping in the Samsung Chromebook just a few months ago.  For $250 at Best Buy or Amazon, you get a keyboard and screen that will sync with Google Drive so you can work with documents, spreadsheets, and presentations both on and off line.  It plays games too.  It has USB 3.0 Host ports.  

The same chip will be in the Galaxy S4 which appears in the teardowns to only have a USB 2.0 port.  If the next generation Galaxy Tab comes out soon, maybe that will actually use the USB 3.0 externally.

Finally, we have the

Qualcomm Snapdragon 800

Which delivers both a USB 3.0 Device and Host in one mobile phone package.

You may have seen the Snapdragon theater where they streamed 4k video and 7.1 channel sound at CES.  The phone can also capture 55 MP images.  That’s right. 55 Megapixel.  I can’t figure that one out either.

So there you have it, 5 platforms, ready for the phone, tablet, and phablet market.  Ivy Bridge is shipping, Samsung is shipping.  The good news is that these leaders differentiate their products with USB 3.0.  We can hope and expect more will arrive soon.


To subscribe, click on this link:

Cut and paste this URL ( in your Google Elements or Flipbook or Evernote or Pocket Reader, you might even be able to subscribe that way.

USB University

Remember to check out USB University.  It’s appropriate for managers and marketers working on or considering USB 3.0, and for architects and engineers that need deep technical detail.

For the few people that have tech issues, I’m sorry. We are working on them.

And my son’s team lost 0 to 18.  At least I think that was the score. I left before the end and they kept playing.  When I came back he was eating corn chips with melted cheese. And seemed happy as a kid eating corn chips with melted cheese.

Share and Enjoy:
  • Digg
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
  • Print
  • Twitter
  • StumbleUpon
  • LinkedIn
  • RSS