To USB or Not to USB


Stormtrooper boots and USB IP reliability

Star Wars: The Force Awakens: Spoiler Alert

For the 3 of you who haven’t seen the movie: at one point, Han Solo says, “Stormtrooper boots” saying he knew all along Finn was actually a Stormtrooper

(To be clear this will be about the Star Wars Stormtroopers, not Nazi’s like the ones in the news these days)

This got me thinking.

Are those boots comfortable?

Who designed those boots?

Who in the empire ordered those boots?

If the boots aren’t comfortable, do Stormtroopers complain about them?

Does the quartermaster complain to the supplier?

Where is the boot designer?

Do they only care about how the boots look during Imperial Fashion Week?

If a large percentage of Stormtroopers are getting blisters on their feet, how does this show up on the Starkiller Base weekly report:

“Captain Phasma Weekly Report

Location: Starkiller Base

Date: A long time ago

Stormtrooper performance decline of 2% due to boot issues.  – Of 200 million storm troopers stationed on planet 2%, or 4 million troopers report injuries.  This has resulted in over 8 million visits to the infirmary, 15 million hours of lost work time.

Due to accelerated schedule for primary weapon construction, unable to complete construction of the secondary, backup thermal safety system for safely storing the entire energy output of a sun”

Eric’s commentary:  I mean, what’s the probability of rebels attacking our massive planet killing weapon a 3rd time, when the last time was 30 years ago?


So Phasma’s report gets sent up the chain to General Hux, who now has to decide if he’s going to report this to Kylo Ren (aka Ben Solo) or Supreme Commander Snoke.  Two dudes with lots on their mind.

How frustrated is Supreme Commander Snoke?  His response (via email) is

“I just spent 200 trillion trillion on this project. It took us billions of labor hours to build, and years to build, and you guys picked a boot that saved us 200,000 Imperial credits and now my Station is gone?

I expect your resignation on my desk. Please see HR for your exit interview”


I imagine this is exactly what Supreme Commander Snoke would write.

Failure in the Empire is probably different than failure of an IP in a 28nm or 16nm or 10nm or 7nm chip.

Your boss isn’t Captain Phasma or General Hux or Kylo Ren

Your CEO isn’t Commander Snoke.  (right?)


USB IP isn’t Boots.

The point in this story is small decisions to save money increase risk, and increase it significantly.  With the cost of building a chip in effort and dollars, why risk so much to save so little.


USB 3.1 Certification – Super Important

Eric Esteve published an article on “Why USB 3.1 Certification is a “Must Have”?” in SemiWiki.  Highly recommended reading.


IDF 2016, San Francisco

Visit us at IDF for USB 3.1 Gen 2 and PCIe demonstrations in San Francisco.



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