USB connectivity heads for the chip

A group of players in the Universal Serial Bus (USB) business have developed a new transceiver interface that allows chip and system designers to connect a Hi-Speed USB transceiver to USB core logic in ASICs and SoCs.

Leading Universal Serial Bus (USB) providers, including ARC International, Conexant, Mentor Graphics, Philips, Standard Microsystems Corporation (SMSC), and TransDimension have developed a new USB transceiver interface called UTMI+ Low Pin Interface (ULPI).

ULPI allows chip and system designers to connect a Hi-Speed USB transceiver to USB core logic embedded in application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs) and systems-on-chip (SoCs). The ULPI specification covers USB host, device and On-the-Go (OTG) implementations.

Today, USB is the most widely deployed connection interface for quick transfers of information on PCs, printers, digital cameras, personal digital assistants (PDAs), MP3 players, cell phones, monitors, and other digital consumer electronics products. USB allows consumers to easily establish high-speed connections between products to transfer digital files such as pictures, multimedia content and data.

By using the ULPI standard interface instead of proprietary interfaces, ASIC and SoC designers will reduce design time, simplify testing and ensure interoperability with USB transceivers. ULPI specifies a 12-pin interface between host, device and OTG functionality on an ASIC or SoC and an external USB transceiver. As a result, more USB functionality can be integrated, leading to a reduction in the pin-count of the transceiver from 100 pins to approximately 30.

The ULPI standard is available immediately for royalty-free licensing.