USB Compliance Q&A


dot The Basics dot Test Details and Prices
dot Getting Started dot MCCI's Capabilities
dot MCCI's Test Lab and Procedures dot Other Test-Related Questions
   
1. The Basics

1.1
Q.
What do you mean by "low-speed," "full-speed," "high-speed," and "SuperSpeed" products?

A.
A low-speed product has a signaling rate of 1.5 megabits/second. A full-speed product has a signaling rate of 12 megabits/second. A high-speed product has a signaling rate of 480 megabits/second. A SuperSpeed product has a signaling rate of 5.0 gigabits/second.


1.2
Q.
I have a USB 2.0 product. Is it a high-speed product?

A.
Not necessarily. USB 2.0 allows for low-speed, full-speed, and high-speed.


1.3
Q.
Can MCCI test USB 1.1 products?

A.
Yes. Bear in mind, however, that the USB 1.1 specification is now obsolete, and has been superseded by the USB 2.0 specification. The electrical details for low- and full-speed products are essentially the same in USB 2.0. The version number in your product's DEVICE descriptor should be 2.0 (0200H) regardless of the speed of your device. We recommend that new products be designed to comply with USB 2.0, regardless of their operating speed. The USB 3.0 specification only covers SuperSpeed products.


1.4
Q.
Can MCCI test USB 3.0 SuperSpeed products?

A.
Yes.


1.5
Q.
I heard that we have to pass a compliance test to use the USB-IF logo. Is this right?

A.
Yes. Compliance means products that use USB technology actually match the description in the USB specification. This is important for various USB products to work together. Compliance testing helps manufacturers measure how well their products match the specification. The USB logo assures the consumer that your product has been tested and meets those requirements.


1.6
Q.
What is a Compliance Workshop?

A.
A Compliance Workshop is a group testing session that is run approximately every three months by the USB-IF. Each workshop is about 3 days long. If you are a member of USB-IF, you can attend a Compliance Workshop at no charge. However, you must send at least one engineer, which will cost you airfare and hotel. It may be necessary to send two engineers and more than two devices. Check with admin@usb.org before planning to attend.


1.7
Q.
What happens at a Compliance Workshop?

A.
System vendors are assigned rooms at a large conference hotel. Device vendors are given a schedule, and move from system to system, testing that their device operates with each system. Furthermore, device vendors are scheduled into special test suites run by USB-IF or member company volunteers. Special testing is done in these suites, usually electrical testing (in one suite) and "gold tree" testing (in another suite).

In order to get logo certification based on the Compliance Workshop, devices must demonstrate proper operation with 80% of the systems they test with, and must also pass the USB-IF testing.


1.8
Q.
What is a "Plug Fest"?

A.
That's the informal name for a Compliance Workshop.


2. Getting Started

2.1
Q.
How do I arrange for a compliance test?

A.
USB-IF requires that you register new products with USB-IF in order for you to get your Test ID (TID) and for MCCI to submit test results to USB-IF. Of course, we can pre-test or do informal testing of your product, but these results can only be used for your convenience, and will not have any formal standing. In order to register your product with USB-IF make sure you have your USB-IF User ID and password ready. Then go to the USB-IF Compliance Member Tools and follow the instructions that are given on that section of the web site.


2.2
Q.
Can MCCI fill out the Compliance Checklist for me?

A.
No, afraid not. MCCI is not able to fill out the Compliance Checklist because it references internal components of your hardware design and requires detailed knowledge of how the product was built, for which we wouldn't have the correct information.


2.3
Q.
Why do I need a Vendor ID (VID)?

A.
As an owner of a USB Vendor ID, your company is eligible to have its USB products tested for compliance at a certified independent test lab. Successful completion of USB-IF compliance testing is one of the prerequisites to qualify to use the USB-IF logo in conjunction with your company's products.


2.4
Q.
How do I get a VID?

A.
If you are a member of USB-IF you are eligible to obtain a VID from them (in fact, you have already received one).  If you are not a member, you must pay a non-member fee in order to obtain a VID.


2.5
Q.
If I am not a member, how can I get my product certified?

A.
After you have obtained the VID, you will need to have your product tested at a Certified Independent USB Test lab.  Testing at a Compliance Workshop (“Plug Fest”) is only open to USB-IF member companies.


3. MCCI's Test Lab and Procedures

3.1
Q.
Where is your test lab?

A.
MCCI's lab is located in Ithaca, New York. This is in central New York State, near Cornell University and Ithaca College.


3.2
Q.
If I register for a test with MCCI now, what will be the test date and when do I need to submit the units to be tested?

A.
MCCI can usually schedule your test within 1 or 2 weeks of the time we receive your devices and the payment from your company. Because our test technicians volunteer for the USB-IF Compliance workshops, there may be 1 week every 3 months when our lab does not do in-house testing. We can give you a better schedule when you contact MCCI. After we receive your product and payment we will schedule lab time for you on a "first come, first served" basis.


3.3
Q.
How long does the test take? When can I get the results?

A.
We suggest you allow 1 week for low, full, high speed devices, and up to three weeks for OTG device testing, provided that your product does not have any failures. High-speed host and hub testing may require between 1 and 2 weeks depending on the number of ports. Devices with multiple modes may also require more time. SuperSpeed testing takes 2 weeks or more depending on how many additional modes are supported.

We can give you the results about a week after the test via email or telephone. It may take up to a week to generate the full report and finalize the paperwork. However, the results are submitted to USB-IF on the day we finish testing providing that you have registered your product with USB-IF in advance. Because of USB-IF's audit procedures, we must hold the test units for five days before we can return them to you.


3.4
Q.
Do I still need to go through the Compliance Workshop run by USB-IF after this test if the device passes?

A.
No. MCCI will submit the results of your test to USB-IF via their secure site.  If your device passes the tests, and your Compliance Checklist is approved, USB-IF will enter your device on the Integrators List. It's very simple.  If there is a failure, you may either have MCCI retest after the problem has been corrected, or you may go to a Compliance Workshop, if you choose.


3.5
Q.
Do you provide consultation in case of failure?

A.
The cost of testing includes consultation and support by our test engineers. We will schedule a short teleconference with you and your engineers to go over the test results and try to give you more detailed information. We will provide consultation services with senior engineers on an "as available" basis, or you can purchase engineering consulting services to get resources applied as you need them, when you need them.


3.6
Q.
Will the results of a failure be sent to USB-IF?

A.
Normally, yes, but if you believe that your device will not pass initial testing and you do not wish the results of a failure to be sent to USB-IF, you may choose to have your device "pre-tested." The results of a pre-test will not be sent to anyone except you; you will not be able to cite them as evidence of compliance. The results may not be used publicly. A pre-test costs the same as a test. If there are failures during a pre-test, you may try to fix the problems (following our normal re-test rules), and you may ask USB-IF for a waiver.


3.7
Q.
I have more than one device. Can I have them all tested as one product for the same price?

A.
Unfortunately, unless the two products are identical they will have to be tested separately and will require two submissions to USB-IF. If they have the exact same product ID and the host computer recognizes only one product, they could be submitted as one test, but you probably would want to have two submissions if you are selling the products under two separate descriptions.

However, if the differences do not affect the USB portion of the product you may submit Compliance Checklists to USB-IF for the additional products and have them added to the Integrators List. MCCI will not take responsibility for the test results of products that we have not tested.


3.8
Q.
How does MCCI's USB test service differ from other test labs' service?

A.
Any certified test lab can test your product and give you an answer. Only MCCI's test lab is backed by the world's most experienced team of USB development engineers, with 20 calendar years of practical experience developing and deploying USB-based systems. Our engineering focus means that we give you the kind of service we'd like to get ourselves: quick no-nonsense support, generous re-test policies, and access to senior engineering as needed.


4. Testing Details

4.1
Q.
What is included in a test session at MCCI?

A.
Compliance testing consists of several sets of tests that cover 3 main areas:

Electrical Testing — Electrical testing evaluates USB signal quality, inrush current (in all USB devices), and power provider capability (in all hubs and host systems).

Device Framework Testing — Device framework testing provides limited configuration testing of interfaces and behavior. Areas such as compliance with USB Device Framework (Chapter 9), and appropriate power consumption (Suspend, Un-configured, and Configured) are measured.

Interoperability — The product is tested in its normal mode for its intended usage. Device drivers are required to complete this portion. Testing includes operation with other devices as well as operations through tiers of hubs. (This is the one significant difference when testing at a test lab instead of going to a Compliance Workshop. Test labs perform limited demonstrated operation testing relative to the number and range of systems potentially present at a USB-IF Sponsored Compliance Workshop.)

Testing also validates the ability of the device and driver to handle hot-insertions and hot-extractions without locking up the system.


4.2
Q.
I would like to know more about the testing procedures you will use.

A.
MCCI follows the test procedures published by the USB-IF. The full procedures are available on the USB-IF web site - start at <http://www.usb.org/developers/compliance>.


4.3
Q.
Where can I review the results of other products tested by USB-IF?

A.
You may see a summary of product test results on the USB-IF member's web site at: http://www.usb.org/app/members/compliance/int_list. Access to this list is password protected, and is limited to USB-IF members.


4.4
Q.
What information will I receive from this testing?

A.
You will receive a report that includes the results of the testing including a pass/fail chart, test logs, Eye Chart, and information that will assist you in debugging, if necessary.


4.5
Q.
What do we need to do to have our product tested?

A.
You will need to send MCCI the following items:
  1. Two identical devices or hubs or one host system with current firmware loaded. These will be returned five days after the completion of testing.
  2. AC Adapter (110v/60Hz) with US compatible plug if the device is self-powered.
  3. Your current software installation via email or on a flash drive or CD/DVD.
  4. Payment for the full amount of testing (see price list, below).
  5. Your Courier account number and shipping information (including phone number) so that we are able to return your devices.
  6. Export documentation information if you are shipping from outside the United States.


4.6
Q.
How much does testing cost?

A.
Here is our testing price list:

USB Compliance Testing Price List
  Peripheral Host (1-4 ports) Hub (1-4 ports) OTG
ExpressCard $595 $895    
Low Speed $750      
Full Speed $1,650 $2,495   $2,995
High Speed $2,750 $2,995 $3,495 $3,995
SuperSpeed $5,495 $6,495 $6,495  
         
Additional Ports typically base price + 50%; contact us for a quote
Additional Modes typically base price + 50%; contact us for a quote
Devices/silicon with re-loading firmware typically base price + 50%; contact us for a quote
Waiver Processing No charge

Prices are subject to change without notice.

We can't represent all the possibilities for USB testing in a simple table. If you can't figure out how your product fits into the above matrix, please contact us for a quote.

Payment must be made in advance. For your convenience you may pay by wire transfer, American Express, Visa, or Mastercard. Contact testing@mcci.com, or call Judy Cone at +1-607-277-1029 x105.



4.8
Q.
Does MCCI provide USB certification?

A.
No. MCCI runs the tests specified by USB-IF and enters the test results with that organization. Passing the tests is not the same thing as being certified "compliant" by the USB-IF. There are other conditions you have to meet in order to gain this status. For example, among other things, you will need to inform USB-IF that the connectors on your cable are certified compliant connectors (information you will need to get from the various suppliers who provide you with these), and you will need to submit your USB-IF Device Checklist to the USB-IF, which they will then match with our test data.


4.9
Q.
Why do we need to send 2 products for testing?

A.
We test two units to verify consistent and repeatable results. If the size of your product makes shipping 2 units difficult we can certainly test with one unit. We will also accept 1 unit for development platforms or expensive products. We will not turn down a test for lack of a second device.


4.10
Q.
What does "Pass with waiver" mean, and should I be concerned?

A.
Pass with waiver is an automatic notice that is generated by the USBNET script. It indicates that your peripheral was out of the normal range, but was within certain guidelines accepted by USB-IF. However, a peripheral that passes USB Compliance testing with a waiver is, strictly speaking, out of specification. Future submissions based on the same design might fail, if USB-IF decides to tighten the test requirements.


5. MCCI's Capabilities

5.1
Q.
Can MCCI test SuperSpeed products?

A.
Yes.


5.2
Q.
Can MCCI test cables?

A.
No. Cable testing requires specialized equipment and a different certification process. Certified Cable Test labs are listed on the USB-IF web site at http://www.usb.org/developers/compliance/labs/.


5.3
Q.
Can MCCI test host systems?

A.
Yes, we can test host systems and embedded host systems.


5.4
Q.
Can MCCI test silicon?

A.
Silicon certification is done by placing the test silicon in a product. If the product acts as a host, you must embed it in a host system. If the product acts like a device (Device Silicon), MCCI is certified to test it. When the item under test passes we can enter results for both a product and the silicon that is in it provided that the silicon product has been registered with USB-IF.


5.5
Q.
What Operating Systems does MCCI support in testing?

A.
We currently support Windows 8. Other Operating Systems may be used depending on the situation. Check with us first at testing@mcci.com.


5.6
Q.
Can MCCI perform CE/FCC testing?

A.
No, but we have often worked with Diversified T.E.S.T. Technologies to have these tests performed. They're close to our test facility in Ithaca, so we can arrange a combined test.


6. Other Test-Related Questions

6.1
Q.
The Compatibility Workshops are free! Why should we pay MCCI for the testing service?

A.
First, Compatibility Workshops only happen once a quarter. You might not want to wait that long. Second, to participate in a Compatibility Workshop, your company must join USB-IF. Third, the testing is semi-public; your competitors might be there. Fourth, your engineers must attend the Compatibility Workshop; that costs money for travel and hotels, as well as time.


6.2
Q.
If we change the software for our device will we have to get certified all over again? Even if the change has nothing to do with the USB interface?

A.
A change in software will probably require a retest. If you are in doubt, please send email information to admin@usb.org. They will route the information to the appropriate people who can let you know whether your product changes will require retest. Or you can contact us at testing@mcci.com. We may be able to help out in situations where we re-test the appropriate items.


6.3
Q.
Is there an Agreement for Non-Disclosure on the product that we submitted?

A.
Although we do not divulge the results of testing to anyone other than USB-IF and you, we would be happy to send you our standard mutual Non-Disclosure Agreement when we send you our standard quote for USB Compliance testing. Please let us know if you would like to receive our mutual Non-Disclosure Agreement. Please note that most Non-Disclosure agreements would prohibit MCCI from submitting the test results to USB-IF, as it is a third party.


6.4
Q.
Can our engineer be at MCCI for the test?

A.
Our list prices do not allow you to send an engineer to observe the test, because they assume we can run your tests on a "time and space available" basis, in parallel with tests for other customers. In order to ensure confidentiality, on-site observation of tests requires that all other products be cleared from the lab. If you require on-site observation, please contact testing@mcci.com for a quotation.


6.5
Q.
What happens if my product fails the tests?

A.
If your product fails MCCI will notify you immediately. We will also send you the test report so that you have detailed logs of the failure. We will also be happy to schedule a telephone conversation to explain results to your engineers if you desire us to do so.

When the correction to your product has been made you will need to reschedule a new test and you will be charged for another test session. If an error occurs near the beginning of the test, and if a correction can be made quickly, MCCI may, at its option, resume testing without further cost to you.


6.6
Q.
I'm sure the product is compliant, but it failed the tests at MCCI. What can I do?

A.
After receiving and reviewing our test results, and after all the information has been filed with the USB-IF, you may file a request for a waiver with the USB-IF Compliance Review Board. We'll help you with preparing and submitting the request.


Any other questions? If so, please send your question to testing@mcci.com, and we'll do our best to help!