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HSIC vs USB | Difference between HSIC and USB

This page compares HSIC vs USB and mentions difference between HSIC and USB interface types. It mentions advantages of HSIC over USB in tabular format.

HSIC is becoming popular due to its benefits ove standard USB for hardwired inter-chip applications. HSIC interface is a two signal and source synchronous which provide USB high speed data at 480 Mbps. Data transfer is 100% host driver compatible. FS (Full Speed) and LS (Low Speed) are not supported here, however hub with HSIC provide support for FS and LS modes.

HSIC interface differs in physical layer only compare to traditional standard USB. Other features include no chirp protocol, source synchronous serial data communication. It does not support hot removal as interface is always connected.

In HSIC interface all the information is transmitted via single data line while strobe signal indicates when to sample the received data signal. Moreover HSIC uses double data rate signalling where in data are sampled at both rising and falling edges of the strobe signal. Here strobe signal oscillates with frequency of 240MHz. This gives total data rate of 480Mbps.

Protocol for data communication between host and device via HSIC is same as standard USB interface. Following table compares HSIC vs USB and mentions similarities and difference between HSIC and USB interface types.


Features USB HSIC
Full form Universal Serial Bus High Speed Inter-Chip
Data rate different versions support different data rates viz. USB V1.x supports upto 12 Mbps, USB 2.0 supports about 480 Mbps, USB 3.0 supports 5Gbps and USB 4.0 supports 10Gbps 480Mbps
Maximum cable length 5 meters (@ 480 Mbps) 5 meters (@ 480 Mbps)
Size Presense of analog front end leads to big size. Absense of analog front end leads to less size.
Cost costlier compare to HSIC device. cheaper compare to standard USB device.
interface between host and peripheral Analog as shown, standard USB Digital as shown, HSIC USB
Interface lines D+, D- as shown, USB interface lines Strobe, Data as shown, HSIC interface lines
Current consumption draws 200 µA on D+ through 1.5 KOhm (in suspended mode) draws no current on strobe/data in suspended mode
Power consumption Higher compare to HSIC based USB version Draws 50% less compare to standard USB 2.0
Maximum allowed skew It is about 100 ps in a cable. HSIC electrical spec defines about 15 ps.
Voltage signal level 5V (Vcc) and 3.3V (High signal level), Differential "1" is transmitted by pulling D+ over 2.8V with 15KOhm pulled to GND and D- under 0.3V with 1.5KOhm pulled to 3.6V.
In differential "0" D- is greater than 2.8V and D+ is less than 0.3V.
Uses 1.2 V (LVCMOS levels) instead of 3.3 V for low power applications
Probing method Standard USB is easy to monitor by placing differential probe connected with oscilloscope. HSIC signals are very sensitive and gence transmission line theory is applied to probe the signal. General guideline is that probe at opposite side of the source of signal which needs to be monitored. This means to observe the signal originating from the "device", probe need to be placed on the "host" side and viceversa.
Data Sampling or synchronization Standard USB uses sync pattern with every data packet at the beginning to allow receiver clock to synchronize with phase of incoming data. HSIC uses strobe line to tell receiver when to sample the incoming data.

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