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Universal Serial Business System Architecture (PC System Architecture Series) Paperback – 24 Jan 1997
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From the Back Cover"This series of books is truly an important part of my library.... They are consistently accurate.... I would recommend them to anyone doing hardware design or support, as well as to any developers who write low-level system code."
Windows Developer's Journal
Universal Serial Bus System Architecture provides an in-depth discussion of USB and is based on the 1.0 version of the Universal Serial Bus specification. It focuses on the USB protocol, signaling environment, and electrical specifications, along with the hardware/software interaction required to configure and access USB devices. Although this book does not focus on writing USB device drivers, it does contain useful background information that aids in understanding the USB software environment. Key topics include:
- differential signaling environment
- device configuration
- suspend/resume operations
- device descriptors
- device requests (commands)
- transfer mechanisms
- USB transaction protocols
- bus-powered devices
- self-powered devices
- host controller designs (UHC and OHC)
- error detection and handling
- device class definitions
The PC System Architecture Series is a crisply written and comprehensive set of guides to the most important PC hardware standards. Each title is designed to illustrate the relationship between the software and hardware and explains thoroughly the architecture, features, and operations of systems built using one particular type of chip or hardware specification.
MindShare Inc. is one of the leading technical training companies in the computer industry, providing innovative courses for dozens of companies, including Intel, IBM, and Compaq.
Don Anderson passes on his wealth of experience in digital electronics and computer design by training engineers, programmers, and technicians for MindShare.
About the Author
MindShare, Inc. is one of the leading technical training companies in the hardware industry, providing innovative courses for dozens of companies, including Intel, IBM, and Compaq.
Top customer reviews
For those of you hoping to actually write a USB driver for a device, this book won't provide you with the detailed information you need. It can be also quite frustrating if you are looking for clarification of some part of the spec as sometimes the book seems to just gloss over it. Take for example the Set/Clear Feature requests. The book justs says they enable or disable a set of defined features! Thankfully the spec has more details on these points, but I would have liked to have seen how to actually IMPLEMENT these features, and the implications behind these features. Even the spec leaves me scratching my head a little.
This book does give you a complete overview of the device and host ends of the USB system, and does give a good clear explanation of why USB was introduced and a PC connectivity backgrounder. It can be handy to have along side your copy of the latest USB specs.
But it would be nice to see clarification of USB spec aspects and implementation examples. Perhaps I'm looking at the wrong book?
It also comes with a CD-ROM that appears to be a plug for courses run by Mindshare. It presents a USB 2.0 Overview but the presenter seems to be suffering from buffer-underrun!
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
DON'T BUY THIS BOOK!
Here's a list of some of my gripes.
o Which version -- The authors can't decide whether it wants to be a USB 1.x book with a USB 2.0 addenda, or a full USB 2.0 book. So in some places you get USB 2.0 deltas, and in other places you get an explanation of how USB 2.0 works with a parenthetical remarks about USB 1.1.
o Basic concepts are assumed before they are explained -- I read this book from start to finish and so I really notice this sort of problem. For example, Table 4-3 (page 86) is an extract from Table 19-9 but a) you have to go back two pages to the text on page 84 to even find out that it's an extract, and b) you have to manually search for the full table because neither the text nor the diagram reference it.
o Bad English -- For example, page 204 says "Resume is signalled to all downstream ports that are enabled and back to the suspended port." A classic example of passive voice resulting in unparseable English. It's the hub doing the signalling! This is just a small example of an endemic problem.
o The diagrams suck -- They look like they were taken from a PowerPoint presentation (which they probably were) but it's worse than that. There's little consistency about how tables and diagrams are organised. For example, I expect that every diagram that illustrates a USB packet interchange would use the same basic format. Not so! Take a look at Figure 7-20 and Figure 8-5. They explain a roughly similar concept but with a totally different type of diagram. Finally, some of the diagrams are just weird. For example, are Figures 12-12 and 12-13 state diagrams (which is what they look like), or pseudo-frowcharts? I still can't decide.
o Lack of smooth layer-to-layer transitions -- My particular problem was with the various requests on the control endpoint (endpoint 0).
- There's no up-front listing of all of the possibly requests on a control endpoint.
- Values are referenced inconsistently -- In the text on page 354 it's "GetDescriptor" but in the Table 19-6 it's "GET_DESCRIPTOR". And, better yet, sometimes we just leave out the numeric values of symbols so that you can't correlate between the inconsistent identifiers (for example, the bulletted list on p 379).
- Table 19-6 describes the packaging of the request but then fails to describe how the response is packaged. Table 19-7 lists the structure of the response, but there's no description of how that structure is embedded in the packets on the control endpoint. Or maybe there is. I'm still not sure whether the "Data" field in Table 19-6 is the response or something left over from the SetDescriptor request, which uses the same format.
o The authors have no network experience -- Coming from a network background it's obvious to me that you can draw a bunch of analogies between USB and standard networking terms. For example, USB's data toggle is simply a one-bit sliding window. Somehow this has escaped the author's attention.
o 'Small' things -- Like every figure reference in the text includes a page number, rather than saying "on this page" or "on the next page". And the fact that the index is woeful. Look up some basic USB concepts in the index and see what you get. For example, "endpoints" has a single reference to page 19, which is the wrong page (should've been page 18) and doesn't recognise the fact that endpoints are discussed in many other places in the book. On the other hand, the reference for "descriptors" points you to page 376, which is within 20 pages of the in-depth discussion of descriptors on page 353, but *completely ignores* the introductory material on page 60. Or try to learn moreabout "Think Time", shown in Table 20-12 but not even listed in the index!
I could go on, but this is taken too much time.
Unfortunately, this is the first USB book I've read so I can't recommend a better book. However, other reviewers have provided some alternatives and I strongly recommend you explore them. My guess is that reading the USB standard would be more productive than reading this book!
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