SuperSpeed USB Opens Opportunities
There has been a lot of coverage of SuperSpeed USB as its adoption is starting to ramp up, even with the lack of native support in the PC chipsets. There are multiple PC vendors shipping both notebooks and desktops that have implemented the host functionality discretely to entice early adopters to purchase the latest gadget. The primary consumer application driving the adoption is external storage and the desire to sync these products more efficiently.
However, with the 10x wider pipe and the improved efficiency both in the power utilization, as well as the bandwidth utilization (you can read about this in my Consumer & Computing blog on ti.com), the new interface is ideal for many non-standard data acquisition applications that historically have relied on a less readily available interface to move their data from their data acquisitions system into the PC for analysis and processing.
SuperSpeed USB is great for this. It provides a wide enough pipe for a wide range of these type applications and as a standard interface can lower the implementation cost. The issue is how to implement SuperSpeed USB in the data acquisition unit. Typically, these systems are implemented via one or more large FPGAs that contain customer developed "application IP" that is specific to each application/implementer. This makes the transition to SuperSpeed USB a fairly smooth path. There are multiple core IP suppliers now offering USB 3.0 digital cores for a variety of FPGA platforms. When you couple this with Texas Instruments just introduced TUSB1310 SuperSpeed USB Transceiver, the ability to utilize SuperSpeed USB for "non-standard' applications is now a reality.