To USB or Not to USB


A cool video on USB 3.2 and USB 3.2 Primer Part 2

A cool video on USB 3.2 and USB 3.2 Primer Part 2

Today, on Thursday, (what I call 2nd Wednesday), I’ll write about Isochronous over USB 3.2. Before that, Our Super PHY Guy, Gervais Fong, (Product Marketing Manager for USB and DP PHYs) has an great introduction to USB 3.2.

Watch the video first.



The use of lane bonding (using 2 lanes) to double speeds and the fall-back modes in the USB 3.2 Primer Part 1.

In one of the examples, you can see the use of a USB camera for high speed inspection of parts. In this case, the latency has to be super low and the video has to be speedy the robotic inspection system can reject bad parts. It has to be fast to build Elon Musk’s autonomous killer robot armies, I mean awesome electric cars without flaws.  We can imagine thousands of these cameras networked into the manufacturing like inspecting, passing and rejecting parts at 1000s or parts minutes (probably faster).

To enable this Isochronous streaming of video with greater reliability, the USB-IF did the following with USB 3.0 and 3.1, the SuperSpeeds.

It moved to sending data directly between the two points to save power and bandwidth (actually more important for Isochronous transmissions out from the PC like sending video to a monitor). This means data isn’t broadcast to all endpoints (peripherals) as in USB 2.0.

It allows for bursts of data where data is transmitted only when there is data to be transmitted and when the host or device is ready to accept or transmit data. Again, this saves bandwidth and power.


USB 3.2 improvements for Isochronous for videos streaming

The important addition in USB 3.2 is that the number of data packet (DPs) transmissions during each service interval doubles for 10 Gbps transmissions and quadruples for 20 Gbps transmissions. Specifically from Chapter 8 of the specification

  • 48 DPs per service interval for devices operating at Gen 1×1 speed (5 Gbps)
  • 96 DPs for devices operating at Gen 1×2 speed and Gen 2×1 speed (10 Gbps)
  • 192 DPs for devices operating at Gen 2×2 speed. (20 Gbps)


This results in larger, uninterrupted bursts and (hopefully) higher quality of service and reliability. It’s critical the USB solution you design or build or buy be designed to handle these bursts.


Robot Backflips

So I’m fascinated by robots after seeing what Elon Musk’s Lithium Ion Battery factory does.

Boston Dynamics now as a robot that does backflips. You’ll notice the robot looks really human with normal looking knees (not the creepy backward kind).  What really, really really freaks me out about this video is how the robot “catches itself” an re-establishes it’s balance. To me it looks exactly like what a human would do.


Fortunately, you will after the end credits the bloopers where the robot doesn’t quite make it. That makes me feel safe a bit longer.


And the XKCD comic for today.


And the reason Issac Asimov’s 3 Robot laws are critical to fending of the robot apocalypse of Musk and Hawking

Might not blog next week. If not have a couple of good weeks.

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