USB 2.0… beyond the desktop™

Ease of use, plug and play, simple device connectivity are concepts that manufacturers of devices strive for in the delivery of their products.
Without focus on these elements most users, including mass consumer, industrial and
commercial customers will generally not accept a product, or at least delay it’s potential
mass-market success.

Since its introduction in the late 1990s, USB has become an enormous success, creating an
industry that has delivered billions of devices into the marketplace. Originally designed
as a short-range desktop interface, USB has become a ubiquitous computing technology and
is the primary peripheral interface for connecting everything from the mouse, keyboards
and MP3 players to digital cameras and mobile phones to the PC, MAC or Linux computer.

As users of USB applications expand their use beyond the desktop there comes a need to
provide the market with flexible solutions that can meet the varied needs of these users.
Icron Technologies is focused on enabling users to connect USB devices wherever and
whenever needed. From long reach wired USB connectivity over CAT5 or fiber optics, to
enabling wireless USB connectivity on any RF platform to enabling transparent USB
connectivity over power line technologies,
Icron’s solutions enhance the value of USB while maintaining the ease of use that has made
the interface so successful.

Conforming to the USB Standards

As with any standards based technology, it is important that any solution maintains the
integrity of USB and continues to deliver on the simplicity of use that USB provides. All
of Icron’s solutions are designed with USB 1.1 or 2.0 compatibility and compliance in

  • Plug and Play functionality – when a user plugs in a device to their PC via the USB
    port, it has to connect without any set up, configuration or intervention by the user.
  • Backward Compatible – once you have a USB device, it should work with all PCs, MACs,
    UNIX or Linux systems that you want to connect to, new and old.
  • Fast – at 480 Mbps, USB 2.0 is the one of the fastest Device to PC interface in the
    market today, and while many devices may not utilize
    the full potential of USB 2.0 operating at well under the maximum available speed, they
    still must conform to the standard.

Beyond the desktop applications

USB has become the interface of choice in the industrial and commercial space as it
continues to replace many traditional serial connections (ie. PS/2, RS-232, 485, 422) due
to ease of use, plug and play functionality, increased robustness and universal appeal.
Examples of customer applications requiring range extension include medical devices
(Siemens, Phillips), interactive whiteboards (SMART Technologies), industrial automation,
(Bachmann), military (Lockheed Martin, Raytheon)
remote desktop (USB enabled KVM) solutions and many web camera, USB printer or hard drive
applications. In the home entertainment space, combined with advances in video extension,
it is becoming a critical component to extending the PC experience to the TV, where
complete I/O functionality (mouse, keyboard, web cam, game controller etc.) is required.

Powered by ExtremeUSB®

Icron’s ExtremeUSB® based solutions have been deployed into tens of thousands of
applications that extend USB 1.1 or 2.0 connections
beyond the standard desktop range of 5 meters, with no drivers, user configurations
or changes to the host controller or operating system.

Going beyond the desktop with USB is more than just a long cable. Icron’s technology
allows for transparent, plug and play support
of USB 1.1 and 2.0 over a variety of media including UTP (CAT5, 6), Fiber Optics, Power
Line (HomePlug AV, UPA, HD-PLC), Wireless (802.11g/n, UWB or WirelessHD) and Coax.
Regardless of the underlying physical media or the distance a user wants to go, ExtremeUSB
does it all transparently and reliably. The ExtremeUSB communications
protocol preserves standard USB functionality and timing restrictions while accommodating
the increased delay incurred in any of these range extending transmission schemes.

While wireless is highly desirable, it does not meet all applications requirements of
the market. This is partly because radio performance
is still not up the level of wired, in both throughput and distance. This has been
overcome to some degree with the delivery of UWB technology, but that technology
does not offer the range that some customers demand. By supporting multiple radio
infrastructures Icron overcomes the distance limitation of UWB by also implementing
to industry standard 802.11g or .11n technologies.

When wireless does not fit, another option is USB over power line communications. With
the recent advent of 200Mbps plus PHY rates for power line, there is enough useable
throughput to distribute USB through a home or office via ExtremeUSB, again transparently
and reliably.

What the USB beyond the desktop concept really gives the user is choice. The choice to
choose the implementation that suits the application, all while maintaining the ease of
use and transparency of USB 2.0.

Icron offers a family of products suitable for OEMs, distributors and end users.
Whether you wish to build ExtremeUSB technology into your own products, brand label an
existing design, or simply deploy a standard product, Icron has a solution that will fit
your needs. The company’s solutions are available in a variety of performance options and
form factors that suit the various USB low, full (USB 1.1) and high-speed (USB 2.0)
operating requirements of most devices.

Icron will also take on custom design projects to adapt an existing design or to create
an entirely new product that benefits from our in-depth knowledge of the USB

Contact Information

Icron Technologies Corporation

4664 Lougheed Hwy
Suite 221
Burnaby, BC, V5C 5T5

tele: 1.604.638.3920

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