- on Microcontrollers
- Published in issue 9/2004 on page 0
USB Embedded Host Controller
for removable mass storage devices
Till now USB has been available only on personal computers, leaving large, untapped potential in the area of embedded systems. New embedded host controllers from Cypress herald a new era.An embedded system is defined as hardware and firmware — either stand-alone or part of a larger system — usually with some sort of operating system. The operating system can be Windows CE, VxWorks or a more simple system consisting of ‘home made’ code. Using the above definition, it can be said that any electronic device that has a processor has the potential to be an embedded USB host.Designs that incorporate a USB Host controller have a distinct advantage over traditional designs in the sense that they can now host any type of USB device. The obvious advantage here is that storage space for a design can be dynamically added or removed at any time. Consider the case of an MP-3 player that contains a USB Host. MP-3 files can be easily downloaded via a USB flash drive or any other media that includes USB support. Many other types of applications should be able to realize similar performance with the addition of a Host USB solution, such as the ability to perform field upgrades or download critical data to a non-networked system.