Mohamed Ismail, Member of Technical Staff, Maxim Integrated
EDN (November 03, 2014)
The USB Specification Evolves
Other than generous helpings of coffee, what helps industry decrease time to market, drive down cost, and focus more of the design cycle on innovation? Hint: standardization. By defining protocols and operating characteristics, standards have impacted all aspects of technology: device package sizes, pin outs, data and communication interfaces, software drivers, connectors, ESD ratings, environmental compliance, test fixtures. The list goes on and on. The more detailed a specification, the better equipped are developers for defining products that serve the marketplace. If there is any doubt about the value of tightly defined standards, go into any two clothing stores and buy the same size shirt.
The best standards grow with technology. Standards consider and then reflect the increasing complexity of an industry, while maintaining support for already established practices. The USB port is an excellent example of a versatile standard. Originally intended to standardize the connectors on a host computer, the USB specification advanced to allow “On the Go” (USB OTG) electronics to act as either the host or peripheral device.
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