Learn USB Protocol

10.USB Functions

When we think of a USB device, we think of a USB peripheral, but a USB device could mean a USB transceiver device used at the host or peripheral, a USB Hub or Host Controller IC device, or a USB peripheral device. The standard therefore makes references to USB functions which can be seen as USB devices which provide a capability or function such as a Printer, Zip Drive, Scanner, Modem or other peripheral.

So by now we should know the sort of things which make up a USB packet. No? You’re forgotten how many bits make up a PID field already? Well don’t be too alarmed. Fortunately most USB functions handle the low level USB protocols up to the transaction layer (which we will cover next chapter) in silicon. The reason why we cover this information is most USB function controllers will report errors such as PID Encoding Error. Without briefly covering this, one could ask what is a PID Encoding Error? If you suggested that the last four bits of the PID didn’t match the inverse of the first four bits then you would be right.

Most functions will have a series of buffers, typically 8 bytes long. Each buffer will belong to an endpoint – EP0 IN, EP0 OUT etc. Say for example, the host sends a device descriptor request. The function hardware will read the setup packet and determine from the address field whether the packet is for itself, and if so will copy the payload of the following data packet to the appropriate endpoint buffer dictated by the value in the endpoint field of the setup token. It will then send a handshake packet to acknowledge the reception of the byte and generate an internal interrupt within the semiconductor/micro-controller for the appropriate endpoint signifying it has received a packet. This is typically all done in hardware.

The software now gets an interrupt, and should read the contents of the endpoint buffer and parse the device descriptor request.

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