USB and Open Source presentation at the Open Hardware Summit 2012

Anxiously waiting to give the “USB and Open Source” presentation at the Open Hardware Summit 2012. The presentation covers the history and conflicts between USB and open source.

Ian tried it out in a previous video, but since then we’ve refined and illustrated the presentation. You can download the latest files (Open Office Presenter, or PDF) from our SVN.

Every product using a USB connection requires a USBĀ  ID, which consist of 2 numbers. One is the Vendor ID (who made the hardware), the other is the Product ID (what product is it).

USB IDs are issued by the USB Implementers Forum, a group of manufacturers and software companies that agreed on a standard for USB. For $2000 you get your own USB Vendor ID with 65 thousand unique Product IDs.

This isn’t a lot for a big company or moderately well funded startup, but it’s crippling for hackerspaces, robotics clubs, or the kit maker trying to sell their first 20 projects.

The presentation defines the problem and looks at some of the solutions that have been tried in the past. The OHS presentation will be filmed and posted on the OHS site eventually, we’ll post a link when it’s online.

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  1. Missing from your presentation is TI who now issues PIDs to TI mcu customers. The program is valid for any of TI’s processors with built-in USB support.

    1. Thanks for the heads up. It seems like most manufactures with USB chips are sublicensing IDs now. It only makes sense.

  2. Suggestions for future presentations:
    – Overview of USB device classes and how to use them for driverless development
    – Options for custom devices (user-space drivers (libusb, IOKit, WinUSB, commercial packages), kernel drivers)
    – That whole Windows driver signing mess (including off-the-shelf parts with customized VID/PID)

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