The USB interface continues to push forward, but there's some question
whether it will have an impact in PDAs, MP3 players and other consumer products.
Vendors are rolling out new products for the USB On The Go interface, but
acceptance seems to be spotty.
SMSC of Hauppauge, NY, and TransDimension of Irvine, CA, have unveiled components and cores that let ASIC and system on a chip designers incorporate compliance tested host support components.
TransDimension is rolling out a Hi-Speed USB controller IP with a Universal Transceiver Macrocell Interface Low Pin Interface block and SMSC's USB3300 ULPI stand-alone physical layer transceiver (Phy), are the first Hi-Speed USB products to pass OTG compliance testing.
SMSC's third-generation Hi-Speed USB stand-alone Phy also utilizes the low pin count interface. That helps make it the smallest Hi-Speed USB Phy, fitting into a 5 mm x 5 mm x 0.9 mm 32-pin QFN package. "This announcement shows an important level of support, showing that certified products are available," says Steve Nelson, marketing vice president at SMSC.
Get Going: Vendors hope USB On The Go will become
significant in future shipments for the ubiquitous PC
There's some hope that USB OTG will have the same level of acceptance in
consumer products that it has had in PCs. Eric Huang, chairman of the On The Go
Working Committee for the USB Implementers Forum, expects acceptance in cell
phones, PDAs, and MP3 players but not in digital still cameras or set top boxes.
But Nelson thinks cameras will use it to communicate directly with printers,
That could mean high volumes in printers. "As sort of a USB Lite, it could
see a big market. A lot of printer companies could use it to hook digital still
cameras to the printer," says Brian O'Rourke, senior analyst at In-Stat/MDR of
But these markets remain more potential than reality at this point. "USB To Go hasn't really taken off. Most of the attention for short range connections is on wireless links like Bluetooth and Zigbee," O'Rourke says.
Overall, the adoption of the higher-speed USB 2.0 is extending its role as the dominant PC interface. "PCs and notebooks have all gone to USB 2.0, and the peripherals that need speed like scanners and hard drives, are all USB 2.0," O'Rourke says. Mice and other slow-speed peripherals continue to use the original 12 Mbit/sec USB link.