USB-IF Compliance Updates

Number of Updates: 14

Table of Contents
ID Updated Subject Reason Mandate Effective Date
91 October, 2016 Test Tool Versions for USB Certification List of test tools and their revisions used for USB Certifications Required April, 2016

103 August, 2016 USB Type-C Interoperability Requirement USB Type-C Interoperability tests required for certification of PD Only Silicon products Required August, 2016

104 August, 2016 USB Type-C Functional Testing All products implementing USB Type-C are required to pass USB Type-C Funcional Tests Required August, 2016

102 July, 2016 Enforcement of Section 4.8.2 of the USB Type-C Specification Enforcment of Requirements Regarding Proprietary Charging Methods Required July, 2016

94 July, 2014 Grace Period after the Introduction of a New Test Policy statement Required July, 2014

77 January, 2012 USB 3.0 Based Products Seeking SuperSpeed Certification Must use Certified USB 3.0 Connectors Announcement that beginning 01 Sept 2011, USB 3.0 products must use certified USB 3.0 connectors. Required September, 2011

72 October, 2010 Peripheral Power Consumption Clarification on maximum power draw by USB peripherals Required Now

14 January, 2010 Model number feature identification conventions Model numbers placed on Integrators List must clearly identify the certified product Required October, 2005

57 November, 2008 Qualification by Similarity Policy Statement Update to the USB-IF Qualification by Similarity Program Required August, 2008

29 July, 2007 USB-IF Certified USB Logo Trademark Violations How to contact the USB-IF regarding certified, non-compliant USB products Informational n/a

13 June, 2007 "No Silent Failure" policy Clarification of the "No Silent Failure" rule Required April, 2005

16 April, 2007 Vendor ID Usage Vendor IDs belong to the company to which it is assigned Required February, 2007

15 April, 2007 Use of certified On-The-Go (OTG) building blocks in non-OTG products Policy statement on OTG building blocks Optional

17 March, 2007 Waivers Policy Statement Informational

Enforcement of Section 4.8.2 of the USB Type-C Specification
Mandate: Required
Effective Date: July, 2016
As stated in section 4.8.2 of the USB Type-C specification, products implementing proprietary charging methods may not modify VBus voltage outside the VBus ranges defined in the USB 2.0 and USB 3.1 specification. Products that violate section 4.8.2 of the USB Type-C specification are not eligible for certification. Section 4.8.2 of the USB Type-C specification is restated below.

4.8.2 Non-USB Charging Methods

A charger with a USB Type-C connector may employ additional proprietary charging methods to source power beyond what is allowed by the USB defined methods. When implemented, proprietary methods must meet the following requirements:

  • The method shall only be used to establish identity and/or a current level at default VBUS voltage in a manner not defined by the USB methods
  • The method shall only define the current level and shall not change the voltage delivered on VBUS
  • The method shall not alter the Sources role to supply VBUS or the Sinks role to consume VBUS
  • See Section 4.6.2.3 for additional requirements regarding USB Type-C Current advertisement.

A product with a USB Type-C connector that consumes power may support proprietary charging methods, these products shall not support methods that redefine VBUS voltage beyond what is defined by the USB 2.0 and USB 3.1 specifications.

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USB Type-C Interoperability Requirement
Mandate: Required
Effective Date: August, 2016

Effective immediately all of the following USB product categories must pass USB Type-C Interoperability tests in order to receive certification. This requirement is in addition to meeting all other compliance requirements given for the product category under test.

  • PD Only Silicon
  • USB Type-C End-Products (with or without PD)
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USB Type-C Functional Testing
Mandate: Required
Effective Date: August, 2016

Effective immediately all products implementing USB Type-C are required to be tested against the following test solutions which test against the USB Type-C functional test plan. A product must meet this requirement in addition to existing compliance requirements applicable to the product under test.

  • Ellisys Type-C Functional Tests
  • LeCroy Type-C Functional Tests
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"No Silent Failure" policy
Mandate: Required
Effective Date: April, 2005

The success of USB has been achieved by ensuring a consistent, reliable and enjoyable consumer experience. Translated, this means USB devices "just work." Consumers have come to expect a USB device to become quickly available and usable when attached to the bus. Now, with USB expanding into an ever widening array of applications and industries, it is important to continue to meet the consumer's expectations regarding USB in these new applications.

The USB-IF enforces a "no silent failure" rule. This means that an implementation of USB must not appear broken to the consumer. In configurations where the consumer's expectations are not met, either the peripheral or host must provide appropriate and useful feedback to the consumer regarding the problem. 

Example 1:
Embedded hosts are, by definition, limited in capabilities. Should a consumer attach, to an embedded USB host, a USB peripheral that is not supported, nothing will happen. Without appropriate messaging, frustration and negative experience can occur as the consumer attempts to troubleshoot why the peripheral does not work. In this example, the embedded host would be the device to display an appropriate message informing the user that the device is not supported.  Thus, embedded hosts are required to communicate a message to the consumer when an attached peripheral is not supported. The message should be specific and helpful for the consumer.

Example 2:
High-speed devices are required to enumerate and operate when attached to a full-speed port. However, there are some devices that require bandwidth far greater than 12Mbps making them useless at full-speed. Examples include high-speed video cameras that stream uncompressed, high resolution content. Without appropriate messaging, the consumer would either see garbled video or no video at all with such a camera attached at full-speed. In this example, the camera would be the device responsible for displaying an appropriate message to the consumer.

Different messages for hubs and non-hubs are required. If the attached peripheral is a hub, the embedded host must be able to display a message indicating that the attached hub is not supported. Care should be taken to distinguish between standalone hubs and compound peripherals. If an unsupported hub is attached, the embedded host should read bit D2 the wHubCharacteristics field of the hub descriptor and display the appropriate message in case the attached hub is part of a compound peripheral.

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Model number feature identification conventions
Mandate: Required
Effective Date: October, 2005
The USB-IF Integrators List consists of Certified USB products. Only products that have passed required compliance tests are listed. The model number displayed on the Integrators List must clearly represent the certified product.

The USB-IF does not allow the use of a variables in the product name or model number. Some vendors want to use variable place holders (typically with an 'X') in the model number to denote different features of a product. For example, a product that comes in two colors, black and white, may have model numbers 123B and 123W. Even though the differences are cosmetic, the USB-IF does not allow use of a variable to represent such differences.

The USB-IF does not permit variables to represent features that can affect USB compliance. For example, if a vendor has a full-speed and a high-speed version of a product, the model number placed on the Integrators List cannot use a variable in the model number to represent the speed of the product.

The naming convention for devices, silicon, cables, connectors, etc. must be clear and identify only certified product.

USB connectors and USB cable assemblies are prohibited from using wildcards in their model names.

The USB-IF will allow multiple product names/model numbers to be listed under one Test ID (TID) number on the Integrators List if the differences are cosmetic. However, only one revision number may be used with a TID.
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Use of certified On-The-Go (OTG) building blocks in non-OTG products
Mandate: Optional
Effective Date:
Embedded hosts and standard peripherals may use certified On-The-Go building blocks provided OTG specific features are not exposed.

If a standard USB peripheral does not support SRP, then the OTG Descriptor must not be included with the GetDescriptor(configuration) data set.

HNP is reserved for USB On-The-Go devices and is not permitted in embedded USB hosts and standard USB peripherals. HNP is the identifying function of OTG.

An embedded host should not attempt to enable an OTG peripheral for HNP. This could cause unexpected behavior of the OTG peripheral. Execution of the OPT test TD.4.5 "A-UUT is Reset//Enumerated as Peripheral After HNP" is required to determine if the non-OTG embedded host attempts to use any OTG functions.

The Micro-USB AB-receptacle is reserved for USB On-The-Go devices only and is not permitted in devices that do not support HNP. The Micro-USB AB-receptacle is the identifying feature of OTG.
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Vendor ID Usage
Mandate: Required
Effective Date: February, 2007
The Vendor ID used by a product must match the VID of the company producing the product (the integrator). Please ensure that the VID used by the product matches the company making the product. The USB-IF does not permit the product to display the silicon VID instead of the company making the product.

If the VID of a product does not match the VID of the integrator, the USB-IF will not permit the device to be added to the Integrators List.

If the integrator has permission to use the VID of the other company, then written permission from the other company must be included with the checklist submission to the USB-IF. With written permission, the device may be listed on the Integrators List.
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Waivers
Mandate: Informational
Effective Date:
Vendors are expected to design to the USB specification and only devices that comply with the USB specification are able to use the logo. The USB-IF recognizes, however, that some violations are minor and have, effectively, no negative affect on the performance of the product. The USB-IF may grant a waiver to a device that violates the USB specification or fails a certification test. Although rarely granted, the waiver forgives the violation and permits the device to use the official logo.

Waivers are only granted at USB-IF sponsored workshops or when submitted via a USB-IF authorized test facility. We need to verify and assess the nature of the problem first-hand and with independent test data. The USB-IF may discuss the possibility of a waiver with a vendor without independent test data, but opinions stated are not binding and are subject to change based on official data collected at the time of testing.

The criterion for granting a waiver varies greatly and tends to be specific to the device. Some general factors used to consider granting or denying waiver requests are:

  • Violation's effect on end-user experience
  • Violation's affect on other USB product
  • Market share of affected product
  • Cost of corrective action to the vendor
Waiver decisions are at the discretion of the USB-IF Compliance Chairman and members of the Certification Review Board.

Waivers may not be publicized without written permission of the USB-IF.

A waiver is applied to a TID of a particular device and cannot be propagated or transferred to other devices without permission of the USB-IF. Waivers cannot be granted to devices that do not have a Test ID (TID) assigned to them.

Waivers are not granted to devices that have multiple violations.

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USB-IF Certified USB Logo Trademark Violations
Mandate: Informational
Effective Date: n/a

The USB-IF has an active program to address improper use of its trademarks and will audit devices that display the Certified USB Logo.  If a commercially available product is suspected of violating USB-IF compliance requirements, contact the USB-IF.  Please provide specific examples of the alleged non-complying merchandise including:

  • Manufacturer Name
  • Product Name
  • Model Number or Part Number
  • Revision
  • Retail location where the product can be obtained
  • Detailed description of how you believe the product is not compliant
  • Photographs of the product displaying the Certified USB Logo.

We will evaluate whether appropriate action should be taken.

Send all appropriate information to Admin@usb.org. Please note that the USB-IF will keep your information confidential.

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Qualification by Similarity Policy Statement
Mandate: Required
Effective Date: August, 2008

Qualification by Similarity

The USB-IF offers a Qualification by Similarity program to member companies.  The QbS program allows a USB product that is substantially similar to a fully tested and certified USB product to be granted certification based on its similarity to the originally certified product.  The purpose of the QbS program is to speed time-to-market and to minimize certification costs.  It is not intended to eliminate the requirement that a product actually passes USB-IF compliance tests.

Policy

The only authority to grant Qualification by Similarity to a product is the USB-IF compliance committee and the certification review board.  No test facility or any other entity is authorized to grant or pursue Qualification by Similarity requests on behalf of the USB-IF. 

The new product must be similar to a USB certified product that has undergone full and complete compliance testing.  The new product cannot be compared to another product that itself has been granted Qualification by Similarity.

If the original certified product on which the Qualification by Similarity is based is older than 3 years, then a complete and full retest is required of the new product.

Procedure

  1. Member companies submit a Qualification by Similarity request using the form at  http://www.usb.org/kcompliance/similarity/
  2. When applicable, the USB-IF will obtain specification sheets/drawings of both the originally certified and new products 
  3. A review of the QbS request and specification sheets/drawings will be performed by the USB-IF compliance committee.  One or more of the authorized test labs and/or other experts in a given field may be consulted.
  4. The USB-IF will issue its assessment to the vendor.  One of three outcomes is possible:
    1. Qualification by Similarity is granted and no other action is required.  A new TID will be issued to the new product
    2. Qualification by Similarity is denied.  All certification tests are required for the new product
    3. Qualification by Similarity may be granted provided the new product passes a subset of specific compliance tests
  5. If the assessment requires passing a subset of compliance tests, the vendor will be informed of the required tests in an email from the USB-IF that includes a ReplyID number
  6. The vendor will submit the product for testing to the authorized test lab of their choice along with a copy of the email
  7. The test lab should request a copy of the specification drawings from the USB-IF to verify that the product submitted for testing matches the drawings.  Please use the ReplyID number when requesting the drawings.
  8. The authorized test lab performs only the tests identified in the email
  9. Upon successful completion of the tests, the authorized test lab will send an email to TechAdmin@usb.org along with the test results and the ReplyID number.
  10. If the product passes all required tests, then the USB-IF will grant Qualification by Similarity to the product, issue a TID number and add the product to the Integrators List.
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Peripheral Power Consumption
Mandate: Required
Effective Date: Now
The maximum current that any USB peripheral is permitted to draw from a standard USB 2.0 downstream port is 500mA. This includes USB 3.0 peripherals and peripherals that charge batteries from USB. For this discussion, a standard USB 2.0 downstream port complies with the definition of a host or a hub as defined solely in the "Universal Serial Bus Specification," Revision 2.0 document.

The maximum current that a USB 3.0 peripheral may draw from a standard USB 3.0 downstream port is 900mA. USB 2.0 peripherals and USB 2.0 peripherals that charge batteries from USB are still limited to 500mA when attached to a standard USB 3.0 downstream port. For this discussion, a USB 3.0 standard downstream port complies with the definition of a host or a hub as defined solely in the "Universal Serial Bus 3.0 Specification," Revision 1.0 document.

Use of a 'Y' cable (a cable with two A-plugs) is prohibited on any USB peripheral. If a USB peripheral requires more power than allowed by the USB specification to which it is designed, then it must be self-powered.

All upstream ports are required provide enumeration of USB functions.
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USB 3.0 Based Products Seeking SuperSpeed Certification Must use Certified USB 3.0 Connectors
Mandate: Required
Effective Date: September, 2011
The USB-IF has always required USB 2.0 products to use certified connectors as a prerequisite to obtaining certification. This requirement is being extended to USB 3.0 based products where certified USB 3.0 connectors must be implemented in order to qualify for SuperSpeed certification.

As of September 01, 2011, all products seeking SuperSpeed certification must use certified USB 3.0 connectors. This requirement applies to any USB 3.0 device with exposed USB connectors including reference platforms for building blocks. This requirement also applies to SuperSpeed cable assemblies and SuperSpeed products that have a captive cable assembly. Please note that cable assemblies that are shipped with a certified SuperSpeed product must also be SuperSpeed certified.
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Test Tool Versions for USB Certification
Mandate: Required
Effective Date: April, 2016

The table below identifies test tool versions to be used at the workshop stated below. This table is updated approximately one month prior to each USB-IF sponsored workshop. For the most reacent versions of the test tools please visit www.usb.org or contact the test solution vendor directly.

WS101 November 2016

USB30CV

2.1.2.0

USB20CV

1.5.2.0

XHCICV

2.1.2.0

Hub30CV

1.3.2.0

XHSETT

1.3.2.0 unchanged

EHSETT

1.3.1.0 unchanged

Interoperability

Rev 1.60 unchanged

Backwards Compatibility

Rev 1.7 unchanged

Interop tools

12-18-15 (Win 10) unchanged

SigTest

gen1 3.2.11.1 unchanged
gen2 4.0.23

USB 3.0 eXtensible Host Controller Driver Version (Win 10)

10.0.10586.212 (Driver Date: 3/28/2016)

USB Root Hub (xHCI) (Win 10)

10.0.10586.306 (Driver Date: 4/22/2016)

KGH hub firmware

0982 unchanged

DELL XPS8700 BIOS

A08 unchanged

Ellisys

EX350:  2.0.6123
EX280:  3.1.6022

MQP

GraphicUSB V5.10
Scripts PDT Rel 1.0.0.0
Scripts PET OTG2.0 Rel 1.4.1.0
unchanged
Scripts PET BC1.2 Rel 1.2.1.4
unchanged

Teledyne LeCroy

Compliance v3.00 b461
Protocol v7.38 b2307

QuadraMAX

0.7.6122

Vendor Info File Generator

1.0.0.1

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Grace Period after the Introduction of a New Test
Mandate: Required
Effective Date: July, 2014
Once a test that affects silicon is introduced into the USB certification program, a grace period of 12 months will be granted for silicon vendors to comply with the test. End products will be granted 18 months from the introduction of the test to comply with the requirement.
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