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Working in the FPGA sector, you’re always going to need the best software and hardware to help you to get going. One of the most convenient products available in the market is USB. USB or Universal Serial Bus based products such as flash drives are in high demand because of their ease of transferability. They’re lightweight, portable and can fit into almost any system around the world with ease.

They’re used for a variety of purposes and devices, including computing devices, consoles for gaming and more. There are many variants of the USB and they are acquiescent in accordance with the USB 1.1 specs. This is because they can match with any USB 2.0 technology. USB comes with many plug ends. These plug ends or connectors have different types including Standard A, Standard B, Mini B, Micro-A, Micro AB and Micro B.

When these plugs connect with the corresponding receptacle, they can work in tandem with hosts and devices. Standard A receptacle is known as USB in computers, and it can be used for file transfer with an ease. The Standard B USB includes devices such as printers, scanners and other large peripherals. Whereas Mini and Micro can even work in devices such as digital cameras and cellphones.

Why is USB in demand?

The innovations in the field of USB cables and designs will drive the global USB market over the next few years. They are added with the latest technology to provide better performance and speed, such as transferring files. Other factors include interoperability of the power supply, power efficiency and more which will effectively drive the USB cable market with ease.

The latest growth in tech for wireless technology is one of the key drivers of the USB market and they will continue growing. The internal substitutes, including Type C USB, have replaced the legacy USB cables and have now made it simpler for data transfer.

usb in demand image 1

How is the market divided?

Based on application, the USB market is segmented. These include Micro USB, USB 2.0 (male and female), USB 3.0 (male and female), MICRO and MINI B and more. The USB market around the world is further divided into portable computing devices, USB chargers, camera, hardware and more.

In 2015, Micro USB accounted for the largest share in the market for USB, divided by type. It is used in smartphones, hard drives, tablets and digital cameras among others. With a rise in the consumption of these electronics, USB cables too, have risen in demand. The USB 2.0 (female) accounted for the second-largest share in 2015.

USB offers multiple bandwidth choices including low, full, high, super-speed (SS) and super speed plus (SSP) which cater to many computer peripherals, medical and industrial equipments. Also, the throughput that USB offers is great for FPGA based applications. These include digital signal oscilloscopes, video cameras, ECGs and data acquisition systems among others.

Adding a USB interface can broaden capabilities to a massive extent. In the case of data recording systems like ECGs and DSOs, acquired data can also be transferred easily real-time over a host machine which can then transmit this data.

How can USB be used in FPGA?

Applications like connecting data logger devices, remote data logging can easily include USB and they can also help a host to enable a device to be easily controlled remotely. This can be performed with a master host machine located miles away but connected with the help of the USB host via the internet.

USB 2.0 can be used as an interface in an FPGA or ASIC based system. To look at the different ways in which a USB can be implemented, we need to understand the inner workings. USB includes a transceiver, a signal interface engine (SIE) as well as an interface controller. This is the typical setup of any USB.

usb in demand image 2

Working of USB -

The transceiver is the piece that implements the top physical layer on the USB protocol. It forms the two ends of the host, device and its data link. All USB transceivers have single-ended and differential outputs. It performs the functions of both decoding and encoding of the serial data, error correction, bit stuffing and many other housekeeping tasks a USB does. It can also convert parallel to serial data and vice versa within the device itself.

Also, the SIE must be interfaced with the help of an intelligent master that can implement the high-level USB protocol and respond to host requests. The master performs the application-level tasks too as needed.

Working with FPGA -

Controllers generally offer the flexibility of a number of endpoints, FIFO sizes and even a microcontroller that can handle many high-level USB functions and protocol management. These controllers also have the capability to handle app-level functions and free the FPGA from the need to perform. If they contain any RAM-based architecture, the developer can work with in-field firmware upgrades too.

Why is there a demand?

The high-performance devices for proper system host communications interconnect possible with the USB. There is a rise in demand for FPGA USB 2.0, especially in the field of control automation.

They can be used to provide a great interconnect between the host and the system. This combination is flexible and high-speed, giving a smooth I/O interface, that’s perfect for any industrial environment where there are many controllers, interdependent sensors and systems which are coupled with real-time diagnosing devices for high-speed DAQ and monitoring among others.

The system integration can be done rapidly with software support that’s comprehensive including drivers for FPGA comms., host libraries, configurations and example source codes for design.

Thus, with the help of all these efficient USB systems, FPGA will continue to see a steady and consistent need for the same. Overall, it’s one of the best innovations to come out of this sector and easily the best way you can go forth and make your systems more streamlined.

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System Level Solutions Inc. 511 N. Washington Avenue,Marshall, Texas 75670. Ph: 001-408-852-0067