New USB 3.0 controller offers FX3 flexibility to test thousands of devices for USB compliance with Windows 8

March 27, 2012 // By Paul Buckley
Cypress Semiconductor Corp. has released the EZ-USB FX3 USB 3.0 controller which has been chosen for the SuperSpeed Microsoft USB Test Tool (SuperMUTT).

SuperMUTT can be used with virtually any USB 3.0-enabled host driver to test USB compliance and compatibility with Microsoft’s upcoming Windows 8.

A flexible USB controller capable of interfacing with any platform—such as Cypress’s EZ-USB FX3 devices—is required for Microsoft’s SuperMUTT, a custom test tool designed to simulate a very wide range of different USB devices. Cypress’s EZ-USB FX3 device integrates an ARM9 controller and 512kB RAM, allowing developers a powerful programmable tool to test their USB 3.0 drivers.  FX3 also boasts a General Programmable Interface (GPIF), which is a flexible parallel interface that enables communication with any other device, which works well with the SuperMUTT.

USB has an installed base of billions of devices and has been heavily adopted in consumer electronics, PC peripherals and portable devices.  USB 3.0 is the next step in the wired USB market, offering the same ease of use and flexibility that users expect, but at the much higher data rate of 5 Gbps. USB 3.0 also offers better power management (20 percent of USB 2.0) and faster battery charging (charge in half the time) compared to USB 2.0. Cypress’s new FX3 controller will enable USB 3.0 adoption across a variety of platforms, just as the Cypress FX2 controller did for USB 2.0.

Mark Fu, Senior Marketing Director of the USB 3.0 Business Unit at Cypress, explained:  “USB compatibility testing for Windows 8 is an essential component to widespread adoption of USB 3.0. Strong compatibility will ensure a high quality user experience with not only USB 3.0, but all USB devices on a Windows 8 system.”  

“Customers expect that USB 3.0 will work correctly and easily every time,” said Aidan Marcuss, senior director of Windows Core Marketing & Ecosystem, Microsoft. “Continuing to provide industry leading USB and device support in Windows 8 is very important to us. Working with Cypress’s EZ-USB FX3 controller with its outstanding flexibility helps us achieve that goal.”