WV / Maryland USB Product Development Test Lab Microchip PIC
We've helped hundreds of companies develop USB devices that look great and work reliably, with no hassles. Often, developers just buy our HIDmaker FS development tool and do the work themselves.
But sometimes, they need some extra help. Maybe the project requires them to do something that's more difficult than they know how to do: technology at the "bleeding edge." Sometimes they need a little help getting Windows to cooperate. Or maybe they just don't have the time to do it themselves.
A True Story: Streaming Audio On A HID Device
Here's one example: one of our HIDmaker FS customers was trying to do something we didn't expect to even be possible: they were trying to send a continuous stream of digital audio over a HID class device using HIDmaker FS . They could almost get it to work, but not quite: every once in a while, Windows would sort of "hiccup," and they would experience a dropout of part of their data. Moreover, this would be more of a problem on some PCs than on others
They contacted us, and we set up to work with them on a consulting basis. They sent us their device to test, and loaned us a tablet PC that showed the problem more often than other PCs they tried.
To make the situation even more "exciting" (as if they didn't have enough excitement already), they discovered that they had an unexpected new deadline: the instrument they were developing, for a speech therapy application, had to be reviewed by a specialist who was going on maternity leave in a few weeks. So, if we didn't find & fix the problem soon, our client would be out of luck for at least 3 more months.
In our labs at Trace Systems Inc., we found that the problem was caused by Windows getting a little too busy sometimes, and missing the appointed time to get another packet of data. (That's why the symptoms varied from one PC to the next.) To fix the problem, we provided them with firmware for a FIFO (First In, First Out) buffer system that sort of put the data on springs. The new system would make sure that no data would be actually lost, only slightly delayed.
The end results were spectacular: their device was able to send 2 channels of 10-bit, 40 Ksample/sec streaming audio over a USB device. The audio quality was rated as excellent, the deadline was met, and the project was saved!
And we learned, by working together with our customer, that people can do even more than we thought with HIDmaker FS !
Moral: If you need some help with your USB device, or you'd rather just have the complete USB software development done for you, contact us and tell us about your needs.