Tom Rossi & Fred Rastgar
EDN (July 15, 2013)
The Universal Serial Bus (commonly known as USB) could have easily been named “the most Ubiquitous Serial Bus.” According to the USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF) , there is an installed base of over 10 billion USB devices, ranging from PCs and smart phones to tablets, monitors, and even wide-screen HD TVs. The USB-IF ranks as one of the premier electronics device standards organizations with over 700 member companies and thousands of OEM product developers.
USB’s ubiquity and market domination as the de facto interconnect standard can be attributed to the USB-IF’s compliance certification and logo programs. USB-IF offers a comprehensive set of compliance specifications and checklists covering not only the physical and the protocol layers but also test requirements for specific classes of devices, such as hubs, peripheral devices, and silicon building blocks. Furthermore, USB-IF holds regular compliance workshops to assure device interoperability testing and specification compliance. Compliance testing can also be performed at the Peripheral Interoperability Lab (PIL) hosted by Specwerkz , or at a network of USB-IF certified independent test labs.
With this broad market opportunity, it should be easy to understand why so many companies want to participate in the USB market segment and associated ecosystem. Navigating the path from revolutionary ideas to market delivery of new USB products often requires both special design skills and supporting hardware and software tools and instrumentation devices.
In this article, we explore important advanced preparations necessary to achieve USB compliance along with several key elements necessary to achieve prompt and effective USB 3.0 time-to-market.
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