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'[EE]: Moderate speed easy connection to PC?'
2007\10\23@112828 by hgraf

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Hello everyone,

I currently have a project where I connect an FPGA to a PC over a USB
port to transfer data. I've been using one of the FTDI chips (the
FT245). The chip works wonderfully, and the fact that it enumerates as a
serial port has made the project very successful (mostly since the
software side has remained uncomplicated).

However, being a Full Speed USB device the max speed I've been able to
transfer from the FPGA to the PC is about ~5-600kBps.

This speed has been fine up till now. There has been a "redefinition" of
requirements :) and they want to be able to transfer faster.

Ideally I'd like a solution that supports about 2-4MBps, clearly out of
the range of Full Speed USB.

I was wondering if anyone here could suggest a solution they've had
success with? It doesn't appear that FTDI makes chips that support
Hi-Speed USB (which would easily give me the speed I want). Anybody know
of a similarly simple (on the software side) chip that does HS USB2.0? I
don't really care what chip it is, and cost is not a factor (since this
is an R&D type project and volumes are low), all I really care about is
ease of use.

I know of the Cypress parts that can easily do USB2.0 speeds, what's the
software interface though? I'd assume it's more complicated then a
virtual serial port, how much more complicated? It MUST support Linux,
so that probably limits my options.

I would prefer sticking with USB, however if anyone has other
suggestions I'd be interested in hearing them. The solution must be
simple, standard (i.e. no custom wiring on the PC side) and I would
prefer low pin count.

Thanks for your suggestions! TTYL

2007\10\23@124750 by Martin

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There are eval. boards for FPGAs and the like that use a Cypress chip.
Might I recommend you check their implementations for ideas. Cypress
also has rather long and complicated app. notes to check out.
-
Martin


hgraf wrote:
{Quote hidden}

2007\10\23@142603 by alan smith

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You need a HighSpeed USB chip.  Cypress makes a couple....EZ-USB I think (have to look at the dev kit for sure...but its in the lab), and I think that Silicon Labs also makes one.
 
 But your drivers and hardware on the PC side also need to support that.  I don't think the stock USB drivers from Winders does, or at least in the isochrounous transfer format.

Martin <spam_OUTmartinTakeThisOuTspamnnytech.net> wrote:
 There are eval. boards for FPGAs and the like that use a Cypress chip.
Might I recommend you check their implementations for ideas. Cypress
also has rather long and complicated app. notes to check out.
-
Martin


hgraf wrote:
{Quote hidden}

2007\10\23@144702 by Herbert Graf

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On Tue, 2007-10-23 at 12:45 -0400, Martin wrote:
> There are eval. boards for FPGAs and the like that use a Cypress chip.
> Might I recommend you check their implementations for ideas. Cypress
> also has rather long and complicated app. notes to check out.

That's what I was hoping to avoid. I can spend the time to wade through
all the info on the Cypress chips, but prior experience with their
products has shown it can take a long time to figure out if a particular
chip will do what you want, and how difficult it is to get it to do what
you want.

I was hoping someone here is currently using a solution they can
recommend. :)

Thanks, TTYL

2007\10\23@161422 by Herbert Graf

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On Tue, 2007-10-23 at 11:25 -0700, alan smith wrote:
> You need a HighSpeed USB chip.  Cypress makes a couple....EZ-USB I think (have to look at the dev kit for sure...but its in the lab), and I think that Silicon Labs also makes one.

Do you have experience using that chip? Which one specifically?
 
>   But your drivers and hardware on the PC side also need to support that.  I don't think the stock USB drivers from Winders does, or at least in the isochrounous transfer format.

I'm not sure I understand this bit. Do you mean the USB drivers Cypress
includes (which scares me right there...) doesn't support HighSpeed
mode? Does what I'm looking for just not exist?

FWIW I'm perfectly happy with bulk mode, the FPGA has the appropriate
circuitry and FIFOs to deal with a bursty link.

Thanks, TTYL

2007\10\24@005105 by Vasile Surducan

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On 10/23/07, alan smith <.....micro_eng2KILLspamspam@spam@yahoo.com> wrote:
> You need a HighSpeed USB chip.  Cypress makes a couple....EZ-USB I think (have to look at the dev kit for sure...but its in the lab), and I think that Silicon Labs also makes one.

I do not recommend the Cypress microcontroller for this job. At least
the one I've know a little: CY7C64613. Maybe if your FPGA has GTP then
1 or 2 lanes for PCIe.

Vasile

2007\10\24@022537 by Luis.Moreira

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I like the XPort from Lantronix, but is ehernet, I'm not sure if it will
be ok for your application.
Best regards
               Luis


{Original Message removed}

2007\10\24@041237 by Alan B. Pearce

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> You need a HighSpeed USB chip.

Is it worth attempting to roll your own?

Check opencores.org to see what USB cores they have that may be capable of
high speed, and work your own FPGA around it?

2007\10\24@100206 by Randy Glenn

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Don't recall where I heard this, but I did hear / read somewhere that
the NetChip parts weren't bad for interfacing with. Here's a guy who's
done a Logic Analyzer using a NET2272:

http://lekernel.lya.eu/ula.html

More info on NetChip parts:

http://www.netchip.com/products/net2000/

-Randy

On 10/23/07, hgraf <hgrafspamKILLspamemail.com> wrote:
{Quote hidden}

> -

2007\10\24@101951 by Herbert Graf

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On Tue, 2007-10-23 at 21:51 -0700, Vasile Surducan wrote:
> On 10/23/07, alan smith <.....micro_eng2KILLspamspam.....yahoo.com> wrote:
> > You need a HighSpeed USB chip.  Cypress makes a couple....EZ-USB I think (have to look at the dev kit for sure...but its in the lab), and I think that Silicon Labs also makes one.
>
> I do not recommend the Cypress microcontroller for this job. At least
> the one I've know a little: CY7C64613. Maybe if your FPGA has GTP then
> 1 or 2 lanes for PCIe.

Unfortunately the FPGA I use (a Virtex4 LX) doesn't have any rocket IO.
That said, I wouldn't want to go that course anyways since it means tons
of work on both the hardware and software side. Was hoping to get a drop
in solution.

Thanks, TTYL

2007\10\24@103100 by Herbert Graf

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On Wed, 2007-10-24 at 09:11 +0100, Alan B. Pearce wrote:
> > You need a HighSpeed USB chip.
>
> Is it worth attempting to roll your own?

Unfortunately not. My group has done similar work with FPGAs in the
past. While very successful, it took ALOT of work to get going. That's
what was so nice about the FTDI chip, I just dropped it on a board,
wrote a little verilog (which FWIW wasn't that straightforward, since
the FTDI interface is completely asynchronous, but I digress...) and off
I went. The PC side just meant some serial port stuff (no driver devel),
VERY simple.

Using a core and rolling my own would be both a ton of hardware work
(getting a board routed and debugged in the ugly world of high speed
serial), and more importantly (since my group is a hardware group) USB
driver software development.

Don't get me wrong, I'd LOVE to learn how to do all that, it would be
alot of fun, but the project this is for just doesn't have the time for
it.

I believe I have a solution that will work, but it is a little kludgy,
so I'm still open to any other recommendations! :)

Thanks, TTYL

2007\10\24@103227 by Herbert Graf

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On Wed, 2007-10-24 at 07:25 +0100, Luis Moreira wrote:
> I like the XPort from Lantronix, but is ehernet, I'm not sure if it will
> be ok for your application.
> Best regards
>                Luis

That is a great suggestion, I was thinking ethernet but forgot about
those guys, it would most certainly be OK.

That said, have you gotten 2-4MBps (20-40Mbps) transferred over one of
their modules?

Thanks, TTYL

2007\10\24@103856 by alan smith

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I dont other than we have the dev kit because we were looking at using it, and might still use it but the ADI Blackfin has a USB HighSpeed OTG, and thats what we will end up using hopefully.  On the drivers, I meant the standard windows drivers.  The issue dealt with isochronous transfers rathter than bulk transfers, ie...streaming video stuff.  Since I do hardware for this project, the software guys are ending up having to figure out how the USB works, running uClinuix on it.  Somedays im glad to be more hardware centric

Herbert Graf <EraseMEmailinglist3spam_OUTspamTakeThisOuTfarcite.net> wrote:  On Tue, 2007-10-23 at 11:25 -0700, alan smith wrote:
> You need a HighSpeed USB chip. Cypress makes a couple....EZ-USB I think (have to look at the dev kit for sure...but its in the lab), and I think that Silicon Labs also makes one.

Do you have experience using that chip? Which one specifically?

> But your drivers and hardware on the PC side also need to support that. I don't think the stock USB drivers from Winders does, or at least in the isochrounous transfer format.

I'm not sure I understand this bit. Do you mean the USB drivers Cypress
includes (which scares me right there...) doesn't support HighSpeed
mode? Does what I'm looking for just not exist?

FWIW I'm perfectly happy with bulk mode, the FPGA has the appropriate
circuitry and FIFOs to deal with a bursty link.

Thanks, TTYL

2007\10\24@103924 by Herbert Graf

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On Wed, 2007-10-24 at 10:32 -0400, Herbert Graf wrote:
> On Wed, 2007-10-24 at 07:25 +0100, Luis Moreira wrote:
> > I like the XPort from Lantronix, but is ehernet, I'm not sure if it will
> > be ok for your application.
> > Best regards
> >                Luis
>
> That is a great suggestion, I was thinking ethernet but forgot about
> those guys, it would most certainly be OK.
>
> That said, have you gotten 2-4MBps (20-40Mbps) transferred over one of
> their modules?

Hmm, from their webpage it looks like the XPort only supports up to
100kBps, not nearly enough.

Thanks for the suggestion though. TTYL

2007\10\24@110615 by alan smith

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What FPGA are you using?

Herbert Graf <mailinglist3spamspam_OUTfarcite.net> wrote:  On Wed, 2007-10-24 at 09:11 +0100, Alan B. Pearce wrote:
> > You need a HighSpeed USB chip.
>
> Is it worth attempting to roll your own?

Unfortunately not. My group has done similar work with FPGAs in the
past. While very successful, it took ALOT of work to get going. That's
what was so nice about the FTDI chip, I just dropped it on a board,
wrote a little verilog (which FWIW wasn't that straightforward, since
the FTDI interface is completely asynchronous, but I digress...) and off
I went. The PC side just meant some serial port stuff (no driver devel),
VERY simple.

Using a core and rolling my own would be both a ton of hardware work
(getting a board routed and debugged in the ugly world of high speed
serial), and more importantly (since my group is a hardware group) USB
driver software development.

Don't get me wrong, I'd LOVE to learn how to do all that, it would be
alot of fun, but the project this is for just doesn't have the time for
it.

I believe I have a solution that will work, but it is a little kludgy,
so I'm still open to any other recommendations! :)

Thanks, TTYL

2007\10\24@112749 by alan smith

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have you looked at high speed cores for the FPGA?  Or firewire?

Herbert Graf <@spam@mailinglist3KILLspamspamfarcite.net> wrote:  On Tue, 2007-10-23 at 21:51 -0700, Vasile Surducan wrote:
> On 10/23/07, alan smith wrote:
> > You need a HighSpeed USB chip. Cypress makes a couple....EZ-USB I think (have to look at the dev kit for sure...but its in the lab), and I think that Silicon Labs also makes one.
>
> I do not recommend the Cypress microcontroller for this job. At least
> the one I've know a little: CY7C64613. Maybe if your FPGA has GTP then
> 1 or 2 lanes for PCIe.

Unfortunately the FPGA I use (a Virtex4 LX) doesn't have any rocket IO.
That said, I wouldn't want to go that course anyways since it means tons
of work on both the hardware and software side. Was hoping to get a drop
in solution.

Thanks, TTYL

2007\10\24@115135 by Herbert Graf

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On Wed, 2007-10-24 at 08:06 -0700, alan smith wrote:
> What FPGA are you using?

Xilinx Vertex4 LX, no rocketIO on it, just lots of pins and lots of
space.

TTYL

2007\10\24@155509 by alan smith

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I dont recall if I said...have you looked at using IP to do the entire USB controller in the fabric?

Herbert Graf <KILLspammailinglist3KILLspamspamfarcite.net> wrote:  On Wed, 2007-10-24 at 08:06 -0700, alan smith wrote:
> What FPGA are you using?

Xilinx Vertex4 LX, no rocketIO on it, just lots of pins and lots of
space.

TTYL

2007\10\24@171600 by Herbert Graf

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On Wed, 2007-10-24 at 12:55 -0700, alan smith wrote:
> I dont recall if I said...have you looked at using IP to do the entire USB controller in the fabric?

Not really. First off the FPGA I've got doesn't have rocketIO, so I'd
have to use a USB PHY, not a big deal, put a complication.

The main hurdle is complication factor on both sides. A USB Peripheral
core from my experience needs a good amount of work to set up correctly.
The more unknown and scary portion for me is the driver side issue on
the PC, I need something where the driver is either written, or isn't an
issue (like FTDI's chips).

Thanks, TTYL

2007\10\24@171847 by Herbert Graf

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On Wed, 2007-10-24 at 08:27 -0700, alan smith wrote:
> have you looked at high speed cores for the FPGA?  Or firewire?

The main hurdle for the project is time, USB high speed cores will
require time on the hardware side, and tons more time on the software
side that I just don't have.

Firewire is an interesting suggestion, is there a simple chip to
interface an FPGA to a firewire port? What's the complication factor on
the PC side (linux)?

Thanks, TTYL

2007\10\24@201053 by Xiaofan Chen

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On 10/24/07, Herbert Graf <RemoveMEmailinglist3TakeThisOuTspamfarcite.net> wrote:
> On Wed, 2007-10-24 at 08:27 -0700, alan smith wrote:
> > have you looked at high speed cores for the FPGA?  Or firewire?
>
> The main hurdle for the project is time, USB high speed cores will
> require time on the hardware side, and tons more time on the software
> side that I just don't have.
>

You may want to try the new NXP LPC2888 high speed USB controller.
It is much more powerful than the FX2.

Xiaofan

2007\10\25@180910 by alan smith

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I think that Oxford Semi makes a fireware interface.  The other side of things is...what is the FPGA doing....anything that a Blackfin could do? It has USB 2.0 OTG.  yes I know...time is at a premium.  Frustrating when you can't be given enough time to investigate the hardware side in order to really solve a problem.

Xiaofan Chen <spamBeGonexiaofancspamBeGonespamgmail.com> wrote:  On 10/24/07, Herbert Graf wrote:
> On Wed, 2007-10-24 at 08:27 -0700, alan smith wrote:
> > have you looked at high speed cores for the FPGA? Or firewire?
>
> The main hurdle for the project is time, USB high speed cores will
> require time on the hardware side, and tons more time on the software
> side that I just don't have.
>

You may want to try the new NXP LPC2888 high speed USB controller.
It is much more powerful than the FX2.

Xiaofan

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