NEC has long had the best performing USB PCI card with their USB host controller chip (uPD720170) and today they are expanding the portfolio to includes wireless USB. The new wireless USB host controller will allow high speed communication between PCs and peripherals with wireless USB technology such as USB hubs, printers and external storage devices.
The NEC wireless USB host controller received approval from the USB Implementors Forum and uses the WHCI protocol developed by Microsoft, NEC, Philips and Texas Intstruments. The Wireless Host Controller Interface specifications supports data transfer rates of up to 480 megabits per second (Mbps) of data, comparable to wired USB 2.0 connections at close range.
The NEC wireless USB host controller starts at $10 for sample and development use with prices dropping at higher quantities.
Source: NEC America.
Digi-Key released their USB Beagle Board today which is a low cost, high performance development board for ground level design work. The USB Beagle Board is 3in x 3in in size, includes a powerful 600MHYz ARM Cortex A8 processor, high speed USB 2.0 port, SD port, C64x+ DSP & video acceleration and supports 1280×1024 DVI-D monitors.
The ARM processor will handle over 1,200 million instructions per second (MIPS) making it as powerful as most laptops these days.
The USB Beagle Board is only $149 making it the least expensive, most powerful development board on the market. Here is a list of other hardware components for the Beagle Board:
- OMAP3530 applications processor featuring the ARM® Cortex™-A8
- 128MB low-power DDR RAM
- 256MB NAND flash
- USB 2.0 high-speed on-the-go port
- NTSC/PAL TV via S-Video output
- 6-in-one 8-bit MMC+/SD/SDIO connection
- Stereo audio in/output
- JTAG header
- I2S, I2S, SPI, MMC/SD expansion header
- Power via USB or alternate jack
Digi-Key has created a developers website where a host of applications can already be found. www.beagleboard.org
A start-up firm in the French Alps put together one Pretty Hot And Tempting USB stick. This one only has 256MB of memory, but IS a full working computer.
Based off an Atmel processor this SoC (System-On-Chip) design has a 190MHz processor, 64MB RAM, 256MB of memory, USB connectivity and a 10/100 Ethernet port.
The company, Calao, didn’t give a price tag but did mention some useful applications like GPS and image processing.
I for one saw that lovely USB connector and immediately thought of the new Samsung USB monitors and wondered if this is our future of computing.
Not only is the Calao Linux computer PHAT it’s also fat. Measuring at 3.3 inches long and 1.4 inches wide it is much larger then your average UFD…but also clear there is nothing average about this concept.
Kithara Software has a USB toolkit for quick development of USB devices in the Windows environment. The USB driver development kit also supports the most recent, Vista OS.
The biggest claim: non-technical folks can get their hands into USB driver development with little or no previous experience with USB. Simply edit an INF file and configure the USB stack to perform just about any function you desire.
Now, I’m no programmer, but have been around enough that I know nothing is quite this easy. None-the-less, with the popularity of USB, development kits such as the Kithara USB toolkit is a welcomed sign.
One year ago, almost to the day, IOCell introduced the self proclaimed “World’s largest capacity flash drive” at the CeBIT 2006 show. Today, you can find 16GB flash drives from Transcend, US Modular and Pretec, so why is the Buffalo 16GB announcement of interest? Well, it uses Silicon HDD Technology.
Silicon hard drives are different then normal hard drives in that no magnetic discs are present, rather the data is stored in silicon memory. How the silicon (HDD) hard drive works is by
Now that Wireless USB products are starting to ship we’ll see a lot more of USB-IF certified chips and controllers. Take the LucidPORT L800 WUSB Device Controller.
This is an 8 or 16 bit memory mapped DMA slave chip to provide wireless connectivity to 31 devices. The L800 supports all the drivers offered by USB spec such as Mass Storage Device, Printer, Scanner and Video Classes and will auto switch between wired USB and Wireless USB connections.
So what does this mean? Here’s an example, the LucidPORT L800 would be integrated into a PC, either onto the motherboard or an adaptor card, from there the L800 can pick up