Does throughput matters in USB?

System Level Solutions | Marketing Team
Does throughput matters in USB?

What is USB?

The Universal Serial Bus alias USB is an industry-standard which is used to establish specs for connectors and cables. It plays a crucial role in creating protocols that can be used to define the power supply interfaces, communication and seamless connectivity between computers and other peripherals. The first-ever standard was launched in the late 1990s. Since then, the standard has been well maintained by the USB Implementers Forum.

So far, the world has come across four interesting generations of USBs. This includes the USB4 (most recent), USB 1.x, USB 2.x and USB 3.x. Major companies that are involved in the production of USB devices would be Microsoft, IBM, NEC and Compaq. The goal of each player is to ensure that the connectors work well with existing devices, and all interface issues are rectified in upcoming releases. IBM developed the very first integrated circuit for USBs during the mid-1990s.

Over the years, the demand for these connection establishers has increased because they are replacing traditional charging methods. Also, the interface is eliminating the requirement for manual adjustments to device format and speed. USBs are designed with self-configuring capabilities.

Wide bandwidth Range

The wide bandwidth USB range is used in various applications. This includes hard disks, media players (portable), digital cameras, printers, game controllers and scanners. It is also an excellent technology for parallel streaming of videos. When you wish to find an alternative for ultra-wideband protocols, this USB technology proves to be useful.

Need for higher throughput for large data applications

Throughput defines the total amount of data that can be transferred between sources at a point of time. The throughput is crucial when you want to explain a much clear picture of the network’s overall performance. When you want to make use of USB’s in your application, and if the application is going to involve huge volumes of data – they need for a better throughput is inevitable.

In the USB, the throughput defines how many packets can enter and leave the destinations with being dropped. The capacity is often measuring using megabits per second in large applications.

Factors influencing the data transfer rate

Though the USB is one of the most widely used tools, it’s data transfer rates can be influenced by three primary factors:

  1. The actual transfer speed of the USB port
  2. The source device, and its actual read speed
  3. The target device, and its actual write speed. The peripheral device connected to the USB also plays a major role. It can decide if the speed of the USB standard can be sustained or not. Many a time, legal devices tend to slow down the USB data transfer rates. At least, this is how the end-user experience feels like. This could be a common USB to parallel port devices like the printer. In these cases, the USB transfer rate will appear very slow. On the other hand, intelligent controllers in the target peripheral device will make the USB transfer data at its optimal capacity.

When you use a USB 2.x device, the maximum transfer speed could be around 40 MB (Mega Bytes) per second. And, if you have a USB 3.1 Gen1 device, the transfer speed could be around 400 MB per second and for USB3.1 Gen2 Device, it could be around 800 MB per second.

USB version throughput

Now, let’s understand more about the actual USB versions and their corresponding throughput. Indeed, there are many generations of the device. And, each generation has delivered a sound improvement in speed and data transfer rates. Five of the most commendable changes in this technology would be:

  1. USB 1.0 is a low-speed version, which supports throughput of 1.5 Mbps.
  2. USB 1.1 is also known as the full speed version of the first generation USB drives, with a throughput of 12 Mbps.
  3. USB 2.0 is a High-speed version that supports 480 Mbps.
  4. USB 3.1 Gen1 is a SuperSpeed version that support 5 Gbps.
  5. USB 3.1 Gen2 is a SuperSpeed Plus version that supports 10 Gbps.
  6. USB 3.2 version supports 20 Gbps.
  7. USB 4 version has two variants: One which supports 20 Gbps and another which supports 40 Gbps.

SLS’s IP Core for USB solutions

SLS is a reputed name in providing an interesting range of IP cores. These cores can be integrated with a variety of product segments. The SLS IP core for Universal Serial Bus solutions can make the lives of designers much simpler. This means your software drivers, boards, and applications can be designed and developed without any hassles. The IP Cores are carefully analyzed using a state of the art technology. This is also one of the reasons why the SLS cores are genuinely appealing.

IP Cores from SLS can be categorized into three types: Interface cores, Communication Cores and Memory Controller Cores. The USB solutions fall under the Communication cores.

Communication cores from SLS include the eUSB 3.1 Gen 2 Device controller, USB 2.0 Device, Host and Hub Controllers. Finally, you have the USB 2.0 On the Go controller too. If you are looking for a communication solution that handles the first generation of USBs, you will find the USB 1.1 Device Controller handy.

And in last, if you are looking for higher throughput in your application, it shall be worth to look at SLS’s eUSB3.1 Gen2 Device Controller IP core. With that one can achieve > 7 Gbps raw data transfer speed.

Published on 11/02/2021