USB Implementers Forum
The USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF) is a nonprofit organization created to promote and support USB (Universal Serial Bus). Its main activities are the promotion and marketing of USB, Wireless USB, USB On-The-Go, and the maintenance of the specifications, as well as a compliance program.
|Legal status||501(c)(6) professional association|
|Headquarters||Beaverton, Oregon, U.S.|
The USB-IF was founded in 1995 by the group of companies that was developing USB, which was released in 1996. The founding companies of USB-IF were Compaq, Digital, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, NEC and Nortel. Notable current members include HP, NEC, Microsoft, Apple Inc., Intel, and Agere Systems.
The working committees within USB-IF are:
- Device Working Group
- Compliance Committee
- Marketing Committee
The USB-IF web caters to developers who may sign up freely to the developer web-forums and access documentation. To join a working group, however, one has to work for a member company or register as a member. The developer forums oversee the development of the USB connector, of other USB hardware, and of USB software; they are not end-user forums.
In 2015, the seven-person board of directors, led by USB-IF President and Chief Operating Officer Jeff Ravencraft, consisted of representatives of Apple, HP Inc., Intel Corporation, Microsoft Corporation, Renesas Electronics, STMicroelectronics, and Texas Instruments.
In 2020, USB-IF announced updated USB Device Class Definition for MIDI Devices, Version 2.0 in support of MIDI 2.0 devices. According to Valdosta Daily Times, "The standard represents an industry-wide effort by the USB-IF, MIDI Manufacturers Association (MMA), and Association of Musical Electronics Industry (AMEI) to provide MIDI users with an expanded MIDI environment connected by USB." USB-IF President and COO, Jeff Ravencraft said, "USB-IF is proud to support the MMA and AMEI by publishing an updated USB Device Class Specification for next-generation MIDI devices. USB has been an integral part of the MIDI environment over the past 20 years, and we look forward to seeing innovative new devices that are enabled by this updated specification."
In 2021, USD-IF announced USB Power Delivery Specification Revision 3.1, a major update to enable delivering up to 240W of power over USB Type-C® cable and connector. Prior to this update, USB PD was limited to 100W via a solution based on 20V using USB Type-C cables rated at 5A. The USB Type-C specification has also been updated with Release 2.1 to define 240W cable requirements, and with the updated USB PD protocol and power supply definition, this extends the applicability of USB PD to a large number of applications where 100W wasn’t adequate. According to Brad Saunders, USB Promoter Group Chairman, “With the new capabilities of USB Power Delivery 3.1, we now enable higher power products such as larger notebook PCs to shift from traditional power connectors to USB Type-C. We also anticipate a wider range of product application developers outside of the traditional USB ecosystem to now consider standardizing on USB Type-C with USB PD power their power needs". Key characteristics of the USB PD 3.1 specification include: • A choice of three new fixed voltages: 28V (above 100W), 36V (above 140W) and 48V (above 180W) joining previously defined 5V, 9V, 15V and 20V fixed voltages. • A new adjustable voltage mode enabling a range from 15V to one of three maximum voltages (28V, 36V, or 48V) depending on the available power allowing the device being powered to request specific voltages to a 100 mV resolution.
Obtaining a vendor IDEdit
A vendor ID is necessary for obtaining a certification of compliance from the USB-IF. The USB-IF is responsible for issuing USB vendor IDs to product manufacturers. The cost for issuing this number is US$5,000 per year. Additionally, the use of a trademarked USB logo to identify certified devices requires license fee of US$3,500 for a 2-year term. Some microcontroller manufacturers offer a free or low cost sublicense of their vendor ID for development/testing and limited production (generally under 10,000 units). Vendors offering this free service include:
- Dream S.A.S.
- Energy Micro
- Luminary Micro
- Silicon Labs
- Texas Instruments
Alternatively, many members of the open source community promote the use of USB VID 0xF055 (visually similar to FOSS) for open-source hardware projects. Although this VID is not registered to any company (as of October 2015), the USB-IF have not released any confirmation about reserving it for this particular purpose.
- "Members". USB.org. USB Implementers Forum, Inc. Retrieved 13 July 2018.
- "Form 990: Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax". USB Implementers Forum. Guidestar. December 31, 2015.
- "About". USB Implementers Forum. Retrieved February 5, 2018.
- "USB 3.0 Promoter Group Announces USB Type-C Connector Ready for Production" (PDF).
- "USB-IF Publishes USB Device Class Specification for MIDI Devices v2.0". Valdosta Daily Times. Retrieved 3 August 2020.
- USB-IF (26 May 2021). "USB Promoter Group Announces USB Power Delivery Specification Revision 3.1" (PDF). USB-IF.
- How to get a vendor ID from the USB-IF
- Dream S.A.S. USB Vendor ID Application
- Energy Micro Application for USB PID Sublicense Archived 16 October 2012 at the Wayback Machine
- FTDI USB Vendor ID Application
- Luminary Micro (now part of Texas Instruments) USB Vendor ID Application
- Application for Sub-License to Microchip Universal Serial Bus Vendor ID
- NXP to offer global USB Vendor ID program
- Silicon Labs USB Vendor ID Application
- STMicroelectronics USB Vendor ID Application
- Texas Instruments USB Vendor ID Application
- USB IMPLEMENTERS FORUM SAYS NO TO OPEN SOURCE