Cypress released an evaluation kit for their USB 3.0 device EZ-USB FX3.

Their Quick Start Guide steps you through a very useful exersise.

You can measure throughput and compare USB 3.0 with 2.0.




Detecting USB Version


The default application that's loaded on the kit has two functions. It serves as a mass traffic generator, and USB version indicator.

When you plug the board in a USB connector, you can see the version of that port.

If the blue led is steady on, you are connected to USB 2.0. If it blinks fast, you plugged it into a USB 3.0 port.

I used a mini desktop USB hub for 2.0. All ports on my desktop pc are 3.0, and putting the hub in between magically transforms the port to a USB 2.0 HUB.


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Measure Throughput of USB 3.0 and 2.0



The kit comes with a Streamer application (+ source code!).
This app will try to stream data as fast as it can via the USB connection. It shows the transfer rate.

On my PC, with 32 packages per transfer and a queue of 16 transfers, I get 440.000 KB/s for USB 3.0, and 44.000 for USB 3.0.


USB 3.0USB 2.0


You can play with packet and queue size to check if it affects the rate, as long as the total package size stays under 4 MB.

If your settings exceed this limit, the Streamer will automatically adjust the number of packages to keep you within bounds.

The following warning is displayed:


What's Next?


When you install the software for this kit, you get enough information to keep you busy for a while.

Next to the Quick Start Guide, you have the User Guide, and the full EZ-USB F3 SDK (built around Eclipse IDE) to explore.