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                                          USB Tips

 

 
 

USB Tips ,What is USB 2.0?
USB 2.0 is a complete overhaul to the Universal Serial Bus
input/output bus protocol which allows much higher speeds
than the older USB 1.1 standard did.

USB 1.1 allowed a maximum transfer rate of 12Mbits/second.
That rate is now called 'USB.' Though some manufacturers label
their products Full-Speed USB. Note that this seems a bit deceptive.
Its easy to mistake Full-Speed for Hi-Speed.

As an aside, USB mice and keyboards need only
1.5Mbits/s to function. That performance level is
also named 'USB' by the USB Promoter Group.

To sum it up, USB 2.0 specification incorporates
three speeds: Hi-Speed, Full-Speed and Low-Speed.
You as a consumer don't need to figure out all the jargons.
Just keep in mind that only 'Hi-Speed USB' and 'USB' host
and devices exist.
How do I know if my PC has USB 2.0?
You can identify whether your PC has Hi-Speed or not relatively easy.
Open Device Manager and expand the Universal Serial Bus section.
There should be an "Enhanced" USB host controller present.

Windows 98 systems may use a different name, because
Hi-Speed USB drivers in these operating systems are not
provided directly from Microsoft (Windows ME, 2000 and
XP get their drivers through Windows Update).

These drivers are provided by the manufacturer, and may carry
the maker's name (i.e. ADS, Belkin, IOGear, Siig, etc.).
There should also be two standard version USB host controllers
present as well. They are embedded in the USB chip which
routes the differing USB speeds accordingly without user intervention.

There are currently 6 manufacturers of the Hi-Speed USB
host silicon themselves:
ALi (Acer Labs)
Intel
NEC
SiS
VIA
nVidia (shows as "Standard" controller
Any other brand name that appears in Device Manager
would likely be an add-in Hi-Speed USB PCI card.
The makers above do not make add-in cards, but they
do make the chips that are used in them.
How do troubleshoot "unknown device" error listed
in Device Manager?
The USB device or the USB adapter requires its
own power source. If your USB device or adapter
came with an AC power "brick", try connecting it.
Here's a likely one - the front USB ports on your PC
case may be misconnected. I've seen them that way
from the factory. It's a good idea to check the connections
against specifications. The standard order of connection is Red,
White, Green, and Black. No more than 4 wires per USB bank
are needed.
Defective device. Do not assume that all PC components
work correctly out of the box. I've seen many new USB
devices that do not work. If you can, try the device on
another PC.
All drivers are not installed. Some devices will require installing
the driver package before plugging in the device.
Some devices will also require basic USB files from
the Windows CD before the unit will function.
The general rule is to always follow installation directions
precisely and to have the Windows CD ready.
How fast is USB 2.0?
USB 2.0 has a raw data rate at 480Mbps, and it is rated 40
times faster than its predecessor interface, USB 1.1, which
tops at 12Mbps. Originally, USB 2.0 was intended to go
only as fast as 240Mbps.
How will consumers benefit from USB 2.0?
With speed 40 times more than that of USB 1.1, USB 2.0
broaden the range of external peripherals that can be used
on a computer. Even with multiple high-speed peripherals
connected to a USB 2.0 bus, the system will less likely to
hit the bandwidth bottleneck. The new specification also
inherits the current USB's Plug and Play and hot-swapping
capability as well as providing backward compatibility for
USB 1.1 hardware, allowing existing user base to upgrade
seamlessly.
Do USB 2.0 & USB 1.1 hardware work interchangeably?
You may have heard that USB 2.0 is "backward-compatible"
with USB 1.0/1.1 (Full-Speed USB). While that's true,
USB 1.1 is also forward-compatible with USB 2.0.
Whenever a system has USB 2.0 ports, you'll find the
"Enhanced" USB controller in Device Manager,
but you will also find two other USB controllers.
These two to maintain backward compatibility to
USB 1.1 devices. Each USB 2.0 host actually has 3
chips onboard. The USB controller routes signals to the
correct controller chip depending on how a device is recognized.
Where a device is physically plugged in has no bearing on how
it is routed. All ports on a USB 2.0 motherboard can host any
USB devices at all as long as the system and devices are healthy.

The vast majority of USB 2.0 devices will work on older PCs
and Macs. None should flat-out fail unless there are other
issues with the system. Hi-Speed USB devices will revert
to Full-Speed operation when connected this way.
Understand that Hi-Speed is at least ten times faster
than Full-Speed in actual operation, so the speed
difference is quite noticeable - unless you have never
experienced Hi-Speed, of course.

When it comes to USB hub compatibility between
USB 2.0 and USB 1.1, here some facts:
A powered hub is always preferable to unpowered.
USB hub ports are not as capable or flexible as real
PC ports so it's best not to expect the world of them.
USB 1.1 (obsolete) hubs will work fine on USB 2.0
ports, but they cannot utilize USB 2.0 capabilities.
They will default to slower speeds.
Hi-Speed and Full/Low-Speed USB devices can
coexist nicely on USB 2.0 hubs. Connecting such
a hub to a USB 2.0 port is recommended.
USB 2.0 hubs can be used on older USB 1.1 computers.
Although it is said that you can "cascade" up to 4 hubs,
problems may start to arise after two hubs, it's best to
minimize hub usage if possible.
Many USB devices don't work well on hubs. Cameras,
scanners and especially USB drives are known to have
problems with hub connectivity.
Remember that "active USB extensions" are really just
one-port hubs.
Will USB 2.0 replace USB 1.1?
Not entirely, because many products such as generic keyboards,
mice, joysticks and audio speakers do not require the faster speed
of the new USB 2.0 technologies. Only bandwidth-hungry devices,
such as web cams and high-capacity storage systems, will need
all the speed. However, next-generation systems will come with
USB 2 ports rather than USB 1.1.
How do I distinguish between a USB 2.0 and a USB 1.1 devices?
New logos designed by the USB Promoter Group allow consumers
to easily identify the new USB 2.0 products. The new colorful logo
for USB 2.0 is labeled USB Hi-Speed, and the new logo for
USB 1.1 is labeled with USB Basic Speed. However,
most people won't miss it as manufacturers often label
USB 2.0 READY Or 40 times faster than USB 1.1, on the boxes.
Will USB 1.1 devices run any faster on a USB 2.0 bus?
No. However, the new USB 2.0 archiclecture allows more
high-speed USB 1.1 devices, such as web cams, audio
devices, to share the bandwidth. Developers need to follow
USB 2.0 spec in order to design higher speed peripherals
that can take advantage of the extra bandwidth. USB 1.1
devices still operate at 12Mbps at full-speed and 1.5Mbps
at low-speed on a USB 2.0 bus. Even though USB 1.1
devices won't run any faster, they can work alongside of
USB 2.0 devices on the same bus.
What are USB Hi-Speed and USB Basic Speed logos?
These logos are part of USB Promoter Group's branding
program that ensures the quality of USB products.
The USB 2.0 certified products would display a blue,
white and red logo, bearing the words Certified and
Hi-Speed. The classic USB 1.1 certified products
would display a black and white logo with the words
USB and Certified.
Under a license from USB-IF, products must pass the
compliance tests before manufacturers can use one of
the two trademarked logos. The Promoter Group will
take legal actions on manufacturers that label either logo
on their products, which have not passed the tests.
What happen if a USB 2.0 devices are plugged into
a USB 1.1 systems?
The entire bus under the USB 1.1 root hub will slow to
12Mbps. The operating system will probably notify the
user about the sub-optimal configuration and recommend
for a better course of action.

If several USB 1.1 hubs are connected to a USB 2.0 bus,
then each of the USB 1.1 hubs will get a full 12Mbps bandwidth.
What is the max? Length of a USB 2.0 cable?
5m. however, if you cascade 5 hubs with 5m USB cables,
this will allow you to connect a device 30m away.
What do I need to use a USB 2.0 device?
The requirement is similar to that of USB 1.1, but all
components will have to be USB 2.0 compliant.
A successful USB 2.0 connection requires a
USB 2.0 host controller card, a USB 2.0 driver
and a USB 2.0 peripheral.
How much will it cost to upgrade to USB 2.0?
Around $80 to $150. Currently, Orange Micro.,
Adaptec and IO Gear are shipping USB 2.0 PCI cards,
some of which even have FireWire ports. Interestingly,
almost all USB 2.0 PCI cards include an internal port,
which is probably for connecting internal USB 2.0 IDE
enclosure or USB 2.0 front panel.
Will USB 2.0 arrive on mobile computers?
Yes, but not in integrated solution on laptops.
You will need a USB 2.0 Card Bus card. Orange Micro.
is shipping USB 2.0 compliant 4-port Card Bus card. Eventually,
notebook vendors will adapt to USB 2.0 technology,
and we will see USB 2.0 ports on laptops.
This transition won't happen until 2002 at the earliest.
Which operating systems support USB 2.0?
Microsoft has released the official USB 2.0 driver for
Windows XP and Windows 2000. The version is 5.1.2600.
The software is available on-line at Windows Update website.
(If you don't have a USB 2.0 card installed in your system,
Windows Update won't list the USB 2.0 driver as an update.)

The software company is still considering USB 2.0 support for
Windows ME, but it already has decided not to bring USB 2.0
to Windows 98 and Windows 98 SE. If you have Windows 98,
you will have to rely on 3rd party USB 2.0 support from USB
card manufacturer.

Do USB 1.1 cables work with USB 2.0 devices?
Ideally, yes. USB 2.0 architecture uses the same cables and
connectors as USB 1.1 compliant products. Unfortunately,
only 3 out of 11 cables on the market are certified as USB 1.1
compliant. You may run into the cables that cause problems
connecting high-speed peripherals. To avoid negative user
experience,
most vendors include USB 2.0 compliant cables with their
USB 2 PCI cards and peripherals

 

 

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