Eric Huang, Synopsys
EETimes (9/20/2012 10:36 AM EDT)
The need to deliver faster, power efficient data transfers on every device is more evident than ever. NetGear, for example, recently demonstrated a commercially available Wi-Fi-AC router and adapter running at 1.2 gigabits per second (Gbps). Given that consumers want to move terabytes of video and photos through their homes and into the cloud., minimizing power consumption is the No. 1 design challenge.
USB 2.0 remains the standard for wired data transfer, but designers implementing Wi-Fi and Long Term Evolution (LTE) systems-on-chip (SoCs) are switching from USB 2.0 to USB 3.0. Why? Because USB 2.0 effective throughputs are only about 0.35 Gbps and USB 2.0 consumes more power per megabyte than USB 3.0.
“Fine,” you say. “Designers should use USB 3.0 for physical ports, but my product sends and receives data wirelessly. What do I need it for?”
If your product will hit the market in 2014 and 2015, pay attention:
- Wi-Fi and LTE speeds will exceed 1 Gbps, which is 3 to 5x faster than USB 2.0
- Consumers will demand faster data access from peripheral devices and in-home clouds
- USB 3.0 enables lower power consumption than standard USB 2.0 PHYs by using an M-PHY with SuperSpeed Interchip (SSIC)
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