Learn USB Protocol
While the device sends and receives data on a series of endpoints, the client software transfers data through pipes. A pipe is a logical connection between the host and endpoint(s). Pipes will also have a set of parameters associated with them such as how much bandwidth is allocated to it, what transfer type (Control, Bulk, Iso or Interrupt) it uses, a direction of data flow and maximum packet/buffer sizes. For example the default pipe is a bi-directional pipe made up of endpoint zero in and endpoint zero out with a control transfer type.
USB defines two types of pipes
- Stream Pipes have no defined USB format, that is you can send any type of data down a stream pipe and can retrieve the data out the other end. Data flows sequentially and has a pre-defined direction, either in or out. Stream pipes will support bulk, isochronous and interrupt transfer types. Stream pipes can either be controlled by the host or device.
- Message Pipes have a defined USB format. They are host controlled, which are initiated by a request sent from the host. Data is then transferred in the desired direction, dictated by the request. Therefore message pipes allow data to flow in both directions but will only support control transfers.