To USB or Not to USB


World’s First USB 3.0 SSIC Demonstration with a MIPI M-PHY

World’s First USB 3.0 SSIC Demonstration with a MIPI M-PHY

Yes, we actually showed the first one about 2 months ago where we showed compliance, but we thought you should see an actual application operating.

As a reminder, SSIC is:

  • Super Speed Interchip
  • For on PCB use of USB 3.0 protocol standards
  • Supports only USB 3.0 speeds, No USB 2.0 speeds or slower supported (or needed)
  • Saves power because it only turns on to transmit when there is data.
  • Saves power because it uses a smaller M-PHY, not a USB 3.0 PHY.
  • Saves power because it supports only one USB 3.0 Speed, SuperSpeed USB
  • Saves power because it operates at the slowest necessary speed to support the data transfer
  • For example, if used with a LTE modem, the M-PHY can operate in Gear 1 mode saving power compared to faster Gear 2 or Gear 3 modes.

SSIC will commonly be used in Wireless chips like WiFi-AC and LTE modems.   This allows you to save power in your mobile phone by using SSIC inside the phone, on PCB to the main mobile application processor.    

In the demonstration video, we actually turn on the SSIC connected application.  In the real world, this will be the same as turning on your cell phone modem after landing in a plane (assuming you turned off the phone or put the phone in airplane mode earlier). 

So we turn on the SSIC and show the enumeration sequence, where the host recognizes the USB device has turned on and starts communicating with the Host.

In this case, the Application is a Mass Storage Device.  This is basically a USB 3.0 Flash Drive/Thumb Drive.  As always, we use our highly reliable HAPS platform.  We configure the USB 3.0 RTL with the SSIC Feature enabled.  We add the logic for implemented mass storage.  We connect the HAPS platform to a standard Linux PC.  We run standard open source Linux drivers on the attached PC.   This entire system is the Mass storage device, the PC and the HAPS platform.   The HAPS platform has our M-PHY 28nm PHY Card on the daughter card. 

Here is the demonstration, the full demonstration of us running the USB 3.0 SSIC demonstration.

In the demonstration you will see us connect or turn on the device.  The reason this is important is because you will turn off our SSIC connected device

And here’s the same platform passing the USB Command Verifier 3.0 (USBCV 3.0). USBCV 3.0 is the USB-IF’s tests used for testing for USB compliance. The world’s first SSIC platform to successfully demonstrate USB 3.0 protocol compatiblity using an M-PHY.  Remember you read it first here at the blog in May 2013.  See it again in the video below.  And you saw the first SSIC demonstrate in April 2012 here


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Success Stories – Japan Semiconductor Company

In our series of (hopefully) more frequent success stories, today we feature a large Japanese Semiconductor company that has (coincidentally) used our USB controllers for a long, long time.

In this case, they said that buying our IP saved them 9-12 months over their alternatives.  Anyone buying IP understands that their are alternatives to USB IP, mean an either in-house or another supplier.  I like to think that this little case study tells us they can get to market 9-12 months with a competitor.  I like to interpret this as meaning they could get to market at least 9-12 months ahead of anyone using a competitor’s IP.

Read below

 or at the TechValidate site.

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