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In The News #3 - FTDI's SuperSpeed USB3.0 Devices

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FTDI are set to release a series of USB3.0 devices to complement their renowned USB endpoint-to-FIFO bridge USB 2.0 (FT232H) and USB 1.1 (FT245) ones, which have been available for a few years.  Available with optional 16-bit and 32-bit FIFO interfaces, the FT600 will be the first device released in the series. This is splendid news and music to the ears of the FPGA community, as the device could be used to  provide FPGA enhanced applications with simplified connectivity to host computers, with data transfer rates of up to 5 Gpbs.

FPGA applications that should especially benefit from using these new devices could be streaming ones. This could be, for example, your next  FPGA resident OpenCL high-speed streaming video or  FPGA accelerated video converter algorithm application. Although, the USB protocol is not as robust and as easy to transfer data intelligently, IOHO, as PCI Express, nonetheless it could still be used to quickly interface algorithms accelerated in hardware to application software on a PC.

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[Screenshot taken from FTDI's website.]

 The FT600 and its sibling, the FT601 will be supported by the three main operating systems, Windows, Linux and Mac. It has advanced features like Link Power Management and Remote Wakeup signalling. It will be backwardly compatible with High Speed (480Mpbs) USB and Full Speed (12Mbps) USB data transfers. Development libraries similar to the ftd2xx.so and ftd2xx.lib (ftd3xx.so?) will be made available to applications programmers. Although no pricing or availability has been announced for FTDI's family of SuperSpeed USB3.0 devices we cannot wait. Except a review and tutorial on using these devices with FPGAs soon.

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