10Gbps USB3.1 up and running at speed

CES 2014: Plus USB-PD silicon in almost final form

USB3 PD logo10Gbps USB 3.1 was being shown off at CES along side USB-PD silicon, both up and running. Neither are technically final silicon, but the FPGAs shown were running the real deal protocols.

You might recall USB-PD, the spec that lets you push up to 100W across a USB cable. Sure they showed it off last year, but this is the final solution, and like the last time it was charging a laptop while pushing a Displaylink based HD video stream. The board itself was pretty small, a bit larger than a business card with a similar chip inside the laptop. Both worked fine, unplugging the cable stopped the laptop from charging and the video from playing and it was not buggy at all.

USB-PD demo laptop and dockThe laptop is charging across the video cable

As you can see from the demo done by the USB-IF’s top hand model Jeff, the single dock/hub device charged both the laptop and redistributed the video signal. It was running on a Spartan 6 FPGA at the moment so the promise of late 2013 USB-PD silicon is running a bit behind but it won’t be long now. With the next refresh of devices around Computex, I would expect to see PD silicon as an option here and there.

USB3.1 10Gbps functional demo

The numbers are twice what they should be

The other demo was a bit less interesting to see, there was a desktop with another FPGA on a PCIe board that had USB 3.1 aka 10Gbps USB up and running. The demo was pretty simple, it was a disk throughput benchmark and the rig was pushing a bit over 1GBps read rates, not bad for an open standard. Expect USB3.1 to be a bit farther out but it is definitely coming sooner than many expect. From there, well all we will say is the spec allows for up to 25Gbps….S|A

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Charlie Demerjian

Roving engine of chaos and snide remarks at SemiAccurate
Charlie Demerjian is the founder of Stone Arch Networking Services and SemiAccurate.com. SemiAccurate.com is a technology news site; addressing hardware design, software selection, customization, securing and maintenance, with over one million views per month. He is a technologist and analyst specializing in semiconductors, system and network architecture. As head writer of SemiAccurate.com, he regularly advises writers, analysts, and industry executives on technical matters and long lead industry trends. Charlie is also a council member with Gerson Lehman Group. FullyAccurate