To USB or Not to USB


First and Only Certified USB 3.1 Host IP (in the Universe) probably

Synopsys earned the first ever certification of a USB 3.1 Host IP Solution.

Most likely this is the first and only in the universe.


First again…after first with certified:

  • USB 3.1 Device IP Solution
  • USB 3.0 Host IP Solution
  • USB 3.0 Device IP Solution
  • USB 2.0 Host IP Solution
  • USB 2.0 Device IP Solution
  • And the first certified USB Phys in maybe 100 process nodes for the last 13-15 years for USB 2.0, USB 3.0, and USB 3.1 PHYs. Each node, each PHY has it’s own challenges.



The USB-IF makes Host certification the most challenging with the following groups of tests

  • Gold Tree Interoperability testing (solution /system testing)
  • Electrical testing (PHY testing)
  • USBCV testing (protocol/controller testing)
  • xHCI compliance testing (takes weeks) (protocol/controller testing)
  • More interoperability testing (solution/system testing)


The toughest thing about selling USB to new customers, to new engineering managers, to purchasing managers is to understand the complexity of USB.

What comes after certification is harder. It’s where Synopsys adds value.


“USB is easy because USB is hard”




Some call Synopsys arrogant.

The truth is we believe our team of engineers is about the same level of intelligence as most engineers. (Sorry team)


Our engineers, our PHY and Controller engineers around the world work nights and weekends to make to build and verify our USB IP. The support engineers work to make our customer’s products successful.   It’s the hard work that makes our engineers better. It’s the hard work that makes our products better.  Our products are not perfect.  When they aren’t we fix them.  I like to think with our experience and hard work we can do it faster than most others because it’s all we do. (Well in addition to PCIe, DDR, Security IP, Embedded Vision Processors, ARC processors, librarys (or libraries if properly spelled) so yeah that stuff too)


Maybe a USB certification is boring. For me, it’s always exciting because it’s another achievement by our engineering team, my friends, working together to make something that works. It makes advocating for our products easier.


Even better, our USB engineers work in multiple countries on all continents bringing a range of experience and viewpoints, all with the unified work ethic.



In celebration of Workaholic Engineers


The world first workaholic and probably a terrible family man. Chinese Flood Engineer Yu from China.


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One Engineering Joke

A lawyer and an engineer were fishing in the Caribbean. The lawyer said, “I’m here because my house burned down, and everything I owned was destroyed by the fire. The insurance company paid for everything.

“That’s quite a coincidence,” said the engineer. “I’m here because my house and all my belongings were destroyed by a flood, and my insurance company also paid for everything.”

The lawyer looked somewhat confused. “How do you start a flood?” he asked.


One more joke

A programmer and a software engineer are sitting next to each other on a long flight from San Jose to Melbourne. The programmer leans over to the software engineer and asks if he would like to play a fun game. The software engineer just wants to take a nap, so he politely declines and rolls over to the window to catch a few winks.

The programmer persists and explains that the game is real easy and great fun. He explains “I ask you a question, and if you don’t know the answer, you pay me $10. Then you ask me a question, and if I don’t know the answer, I’ll pay you $10.”. Again, the software engineer politely declines and tries to get to sleep.

The programmer, now somewhat agitated, says, “OK, if you don’t know the answer you pay me $10, and if I don’t know the answer, I’ll pay you $100!” This catches the software engineer’s attention, and he sees no end to this torment unless he plays, so he agrees to the game. The programmer asks the first question. “What’s the distance from the earth to the moon?” The software engineer doesn’t say a word, but reaches into his wallet, pulls out a ten dollar bill and hands it to the programmer. Now, it’s the software engineer’s turn. He asks the programmer “What goes up a hill with three legs, and comes down on four?”

The programmer looks up at him with a puzzled look. He takes out his laptop computer and searches all of his references. He taps into the air phone with his modem and searches the net and the Library of Congress. Frustrated, he sends e-mail to his co-workers all to no avail. After about an hour, he wakes the software engineer and hands him $100. The software engineer politely takes the $100 and turns away to try to get back to sleep. The programmer, more than a little miffed, shakes the software engineer and asks “Well, so what’s the answer?”

Without a word, the software engineer reaches into his wallet, hands the programmer $10, and turns away to get back to sleep.


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