Pebble Bay To Make Their Mark on USB 3.0

UK based embedded systems engineering consultants Pebble Bay have announced their availability to undertake embedded usb software development work for companies looking to exploit this latest high-speed, high performance communication format.

Building on the ease of use of USB 2.0, a key feature of USB 3.0 is a SuperSpeed performance of 5 Gbit/s; ideal for high definition video, medical devices, automotive systems and a wide range of other data intensive applications.

“USB 3.0 is an exciting development for our industry, it will open up a lot of new possibilities,” said John Efstathiades, Technical Director at Pebble Bay. “In addition to the vast speed improvement, the USB 3.0 host interface will deliver more current to devices, meaning that bus-powered devices can do more without needing their own power supply and rechargeable devices can charge their batteries in less time. The new USB 3.0 specification also offers some improved network intelligence that will enable engineers to develop much better performing systems. I am very sure that companies looking for a significant market advantage will be exploring USB 3.0.”

Pebble Bay works with a broad range of companies, assisting in the development of foundation software at the hardware/software interface. Their work includes the development of BSPs, device drivers and lower level code for embedded systems. Over the past 5 years Pebble Bay has provided embedded systems consulting to companies around the world and has become respected for its work with a range of operating systems such as VxWorks, Integrity, LynuxWorks, Nucleus and Linux. They have undertaken extensive work with USB, with the development of special code to enable robust, high-speed data acquisition for automotive applications, and to enable companies to adopt USB for networking and communications in a number of new devices.

“We certainly have a great deal of experience and knowledge of the USB standard and associated class specifications,” said John Efstathiades. “We also have a wide experience of CPU architectures and RTOSes, which enables us to understand how to develop a system that will fully exploit the potential of USB 3.0. With USB 3.0, all parts of the system, hardware and software, need to be optimised in order to get the maximum benefit from this new SuperSpeed signalling rate.”

USB was developed to provide a simple inter-connect system that enabled plug and play devices such as printers and cameras. USB also enabled port expansion, enabling PC’s to accommodate many new external devices. USB 1.1 introduced two speeds: low-speed 1.5 Mbit/s and full-speed 12 Mbit/s. USB 2.0 introduced hi-speed 480 Mbit/s. It is now a standard feature of many embedded systems which act as host or peripheral devices.

“USB is no longer just used to connect peripherals to PCs,” said John Efstathiades, “It is now also used as an inter-connect between devices and modules within systems. It now has a much bigger role to play. In addition to this, we now have a new generation of devices with much larger storage and bandwidth needs, such as HD cameras and media players. I feel sure that USB 3.0 is an enabling technology that will deliver many important changes in the performance and functionality of tomorrow’s hi-tech devices.”