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Re: [usb] IP Core vs. USB chip...

On Fri, 2003-08-15 at 03:57, kland@neuralog.com wrote:
> We're working on an update to an existing USB design based on a 
> NetChip chip.
> I want to consider using a licensed USB 2.0 IP Core (Asic.ws' OC), 
> but I'm unclear on the benefits of going this route.
> I understand the benefits of much of the logic being easily updated by 
> downloading a new version to the FPGA etc.
> But I don't see the financial benefits.  The IP Cores I've read about all 
> require a PHY chip that takes up about as much board space and traces 
> as a dedicated USB chip.  (it was posted that USB OC used an Agere 
> PHY which happens to have the exact same number of pins/balls as the 
> Agere USB chip)
> Then there is the normal $15k-$20k startup license fee, which I 
> suppose the OC doesn't incur.  You need a lot more unit volume than 
> we have if the $8-$10 difference between a PHY and full USB chip is 
> going to pay off.


you are absolutely right, using an IP core in an FPGA is
not always a financial advantage. In fact it might be in
some cases a more expensive solution than a of-the-shelf

However, there are application where an IP core does make
sense. Not everybody is using FPGAs, some people make custom
chips, in high volume.

Others are trying to put their entire design (including one
of the OpenCores IPs) in to a single FPGA and there is no
of the shelf solution for their needs.

The USB 1.1 IP core only requires a transceiver. If you do
need USB 2.0, than you must use an external PHY. Thats because
USB 2.0 bit clock is running at 480MHz. The receiving end
requires custom clock recovery, syncing and other high speed
functions. These are impossible to implement in todays FPGAs.

> I am wondering if there are any USB IP Cores that require only a USB 
> transceiver external to the FPGA?  So basically only 4 pins and traces 
> would be required.
> Thank you for any info.
> Ken
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