May 24, 2018 // 10:42 a.m.
Synopsys, a company which provides USB intellectual property, has released video of what it claims to be the world's first demonstration of a USB 3.2 device and host communicating at full speed over an off-the-shelf USB Type-C cable.
Finalised back in September 2017, the Universal Serial Bus 3.2 (USB 3.2) standard offers improved transfer speeds using existing USB Type-C cables through a dual-lane system - effectively doubling their throughput compared to USB 3.1. While finalisation means companies can begin their implementations, though, the process is relatively slow: USB 3.1 SuperSpeed took several years before it reached shelves.
Eric Huang and Gervais Fong of IP provider Synposys, though, is claiming to have stolen a march on competitors with a live demonstration of communication via USB 3.2 between a compliant device and host using an off-the-shelf USB Type-C cable. In the video, the pair show a prototype dual-lane configuration implemented on a field-programmable gate array (FPGA): One end acts as a USB Mass Storage Device, while the other connects to a Windows 10 PC to provide the USB 3.2 interface.
The result: Sustained data transfer at 1.6GB/s, which the system maintains for the entirety of the filming. 'When we start the video, we've already initiated the HD_speed benchmarking application,' explains Eric Huang in a write-up for Semiconductor Engineering. 'We maintained the USB 3.2 speeds throughout the demonstration while we recorded repeatedly the introduction, hardware description, the demonstration, B-roll footage, and all.'
While the demonstration shows that Synposys has a functional implementation of the USB 3.2 interface standard, the company has not yet indicated when customers will be able to licence that implementation - but, if it proves ready for commercialisation, we could start seeing USB 3.2-compliant devices significantly sooner than expected.