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Re: [Discuss-gnuradio] USB 3.0 controllers for SDR

From: Marcus Müller
Subject: Re: [Discuss-gnuradio] USB 3.0 controllers for SDR
Date: Fri, 25 Dec 2015 22:20:46 +0100
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:38.0) Gecko/20100101 Thunderbird/38.1.0

Hi Daniel,

wow, you don't start small.
Really, for audio rate signals, your average laptop or desktop computer
will do. If you want to do awesome signal processing, the more CPU the
better, but don't go out and buy a new workstation assuming you'll need it.

Regarding your card: PCIe x1 is much faster than USB3, so that shouldn't
be a bottleneck.

I must admit I have no experience with TI USB3 chipsets, and the
problems are really different from manufacturer to manufacturer and even
chipset to chipset; the problem is that different chips handle the loads
and loads of bulk data packets the USRPs send and receive at different
speeds; some drop out earlier then others. Other chips (the ones we warn
about on our benchmark site) just don't agree with us and the USB
standards about how a USB3 device should work like, and hence, the USRPs
just don't even appear on the bus :(

By the way, if you need sample rates <= 10MHz, USB2 is sufficient, too,
but you can rely on bus-powered operation less than on USB3. As
mentioned before, if in doubt, use the included 6V wall-wart.

Best regards,

On 12/25/2015 09:41 PM, Daniel Pocock wrote:
> The Ettus web site has a page about USB chipsets[1], suggesting some of
> them can't handle the continuous streaming for SDR
> Is this information up to date, can anybody else comment on this?
> I'm looking at using a HP Z800 workstation which has quite a lot of
> grunt but only has USB 2 built-in, HP supplies a PCIe x1 card[2], model
> number QT587AA which is apparently able to use PCEe2 bandwidth and has a
> Texas Instruments TUSB7340 chipset[3].  Should this be enough or should
> I be looking for a PCIe x4 or faster solution?
> 1.
> http://www.ettus.com/kb/detail/usrp-b200-and-b210-usb-30-streaming-rate-benchmarks
> 2. http://h30094.www3.hp.com/product.aspx?sku=10372451&pagemode=ca
> 3. http://www.ti.com/product/tusb7340
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