USB 3.0 Cont'd.
With the introduction of new gaming platforms like the Xbox Kinect and Sony Playstation Eye, controller-less, gesture-based gaming is becoming increasingly popular. Such applications use high-resolution sensors to capture pictures of the players, and transmit that information to the gaming console in real time. Connectivity between these sensors and the console would greatly benefit by USB 3.0 speeds.
With HD or 3D media content becoming widely available for mobile handhelds, the next logical usage model is to find a way to output the content onto a larger display for shared viewing. This has been a challenge for USB 2.0 based systems as its bandwidth severely limits the video quality. With USB 3.0 bandwidth, full 1080p HD at 30FPS and 24-bit color can be easily supported even without any compression. Furthermore, the USB 3.0 Audio-Video class that is currently being defined by the USB-IF also aims to optimize HD/3D video support for mobile handhelds. USB 3.0 interface speeds also make possible the transfer of multimedia-rich content including video, audio and metadata.
Based on the availability of USB 3.0 in mobile handhelds, system integrator will no longer require to have an additional HDMI connector, which is both bulky and does not provide battery charging capability when connected.
Other interesting usage models in the video segment include connecting to several displays at the same time and streaming different content to each display, an application that cannot be supported by other interfaces. USB 3.0 can also support simultaneous content streaming bi-directionally. There is no conceptual limit to the number of channels that can be sent over one physical connection. USB 3.0 bandwidth supports up to ~500 channels of DVD quality video (6Mbps over a 3Gbps pipe) and up to ~100 channels of HD quality video (30Mbps over a 3Gbps pipe)
New applications like web tops, which allow a handheld device to be plugged into a larger monitor and keyboard will need a faster connectivity solution for seamless user experience. USB 3.0 fits such applications well due to both increased bandwidth and low power capabilities. Also, in the future, displays such as TV and monitors will no longer need to be “smart”. The phone would connect to these displays to provide the “smarts” and also drive the displays.
USB 3.0 competes with existing solutions on the phone such as MHL and HDMI, but USB is clearly is a more ubiquitous and broadly adopted interface. USB 3.0 answers the long anticipated need for high-definition content in mobile handhelds, and it is designed and positioned to be the ideal solution for HD/3D content transfer and consumption.
About the Author
Danny Tseng is a Product Marketing Manager in the Data Communications Division at Cypress Semiconductor. He currently manages various USB 3.0 products specialized for the mobile handhelds segment. He worked as a Staff Applications Engineer for various Cypress products prior to joining the USB Business Unit. He received a Bachelor of Applied Science in Honors Electrical Engineering with Management Science option from the University of Waterloo in 2003.