XPS USB Host Controller Driver

This driver has been tested and is working. It is available from the Xilinx Public GIT server under linux-2.6-xilinx.git. For more information about git, please refer to using-git page.

This driver works with the XPS USB Host controller core v1.00a, v1.01a, and v1.02a. It is a pay core, however, you can evaluate it for free.


The USB Host Controller core version v1.00.a is the High Speed (HS) only core. It supports HS devices through direct connect or through HS hubs.

**This IP core is no longer supported by Xilinx. This page is only left for a history. **

Previous Documentation

The USB Host Controller core versions v1.01a and v1.02a are High Speed/Full Speed hybrid core, which means you can configure the core as HS only, or HS/FS hybrid. It supports both HS and FS devices through direct connect or through HS/FS hubs. Note: Core version v1.01a has issues with multimedia (isochronous type) devices through hubs, and abnormal disconnections. The issues are fixed in core version v1.02a.

To get the v1.02a evaluation version of the core:

1. Go to http://www.xilinx.com/support
2. Search answer record, 33609
3. In answer record 33609, at the bottom of the page, there is a link to the evaluation core.

Or, you can follow this link, please note that you need to extract the core and put it in your EDK project directory, under the directory pcores/:

Linux USB Host controller Driver


Device Tree Generator

You need a device tree generator to generate the dts file for your kernel, from EDK. Please refer to device tree generator page for more details. For explanation of the entries in the dts file, please refer to Documentation/powerpc/booting-without-of.txt inside Linux source tree.


The USB Host controller needs a PHY to communicate with USB devices. It should work with any ULPI PHYs. The PHY that we have been using for development on ML40X and ML50X boards is the SMSC daughter card:


Kernel Configuration

Please use "menuconfig" to configure the kernel. For ML507 board, we use "make ARCH=powerpc menuconfig" to configure the kernel. More general information on configuring, building, and loading the kernel for embedded systems can be found at Xilinx Open Source Linux wiki.

Under "Device Drivers"

Enable "USB Support"

Enable "Support for Host-side USB"

Enable "EHCI HCD (USB 2.0) support"

Enable "Use Xilinx usb host EHCI controller core".

(Optionally)Enable "USB verbose debug messages"
(Optionally)Enable "USB announce new devices"
(Optionally)Enable "USB device filesystem"

  1. If the USB host controller core is configured to support FS devices, then under "EHCI HCD (USB 2.0) support", enable "Root Hub Transaction Translators".

ML507 Testing Setup

The SMSC daughter card is connected to the ML507 board. The daughter card is plugged on the header closest to the power switch on the board with the daughter card hanging off the edge of the ML507. The jumpers of the SMSC daughter card should be as follows: J6=on (this makes the power come from the motherboard), J7=on, and no power is required for the SMSC daughter card. Please refer to usbhost system setup for more detailed information on how to setup the connections using an ML505 or ML507 board.

After compiling the kernel using ELDK tools for PowerPC, load the kernel image to the ML507 board after programming the board. Following message is printed during kernel bootup, which indicates that the USB host controller has been initialized:

xilinx-of-ehci 82400000.usb: new USB bus registered, assigned bus number 1
xilinx-of-ehci 82400000.usb: irq 17, io mem 0x82400000
xilinx-of-ehci 82400000.usb: USB 2.0 started, EHCI 1.00
hub 1-0:1.0: USB hub found
hub 1-0:1.0: 1 port detected

A USB device connects to the Host controller through the mini-AB connector on the SMSC daughter card.

Working with a USB Thumb Drive

Kernel Config to Support USB Thumb Drive

Please use "menuconfig" to configure the kernel. Since it is intended for an embedded system, "enable" means "built-in" (Not module).

Under "Device Drivers"

Under "USB Support"

Enable "USB Mass Storage Support"
(Optionally) Enable "USB Mass Storage verbose debug"

Under "SCSI device support —>"

Enable "SCSI disk support"

Under "File systems"

Under "DOS/FAT/NT Filesystems"

Enable "VFAT (Windows-95) fs support"
Change "Default codepage for FAT" to "850"
Change "Default iocharset for FAT" to "iso8859-1"

Under "Native language support"

Enable "Codepage 850"
Enable "Codepage ASCII"
Enable "NLS ISO 8859-1"
Enable "NLS UTF-8"

Now compile the kernel for your system, and load the image to the board that has been programmed with XPS USB Host Controller.

Mounting the Thumb Drive

After Linux has boot up on your system, plug the thumb drive into the USB connector. The thumb drive will be enumerated, a message similar to the following one is shown on the console:

root:~> usb 1-1: new high speed USB device using xilinx-of-ehci and address 2
usb 1-1: New USB device found, idVendor=054c, idProduct=01f9
usb 1-1: New USB device strings: Mfr=1, Product=2, SerialNumber=3
usb 1-1: Product: Storage Media
usb 1-1: Manufacturer: SONY
usb 1-1: SerialNumber: 0C4C072904D1
usb 1-1: configuration #1 chosen from 1 choice
scsi0 : SCSI emulation for USB Mass Storage devices
scsi 0:0:0:0: Direct-Access SONY Storage Media 1.00 PQ: 0 ANSI: 0 CCSsd 0:0:0:0: [sda] 492544 512-byte hardware sectors: (252 MB/240 MiB)
sd 0:0:0:0: [sda] Write Protect is off
sd 0:0:0:0: [sda] Assuming drive cache: write through
sd 0:0:0:0: [sda] 492544 512-byte hardware sectors: (252 MB/240 MiB)
sd 0:0:0:0: [sda] Write Protect is off
sd 0:0:0:0: [sda] Assuming drive cache: write through
sda:<7>usb-storage: queuecommand called
sd 0:0:0:0: [sda] Attached SCSI removable disk

To use the thumb drive, it has to be mounted to the Linux system, as following:

mount -t vfat /dev/sda1 /media/usbdisk


  1. For the mount command to succeed, a directory called "/media/usbdisk" pre-exists.
  2. The device ID of "/dev/sda1" is dependent on the system, please check the printout when you plug your thumb drive into your system. For this example, the line "sda1" tells that the newly discovered device has device name of "/dev/sda1".

Using the Thumb Drive

Once the thumb drive has been successfully mounted, you can use it as a normal directory.

Go to the Thumb Drive

The following commands change the directory to the thumb drive, and list the content of the thumb drive:

cd /media/usbdisk

Copy Files to/from the Thumb Drive, and Verify

The following commands copy files from your embedded system and then copy it back with a different name, then use "diff" command to compare the files:

cp /home/executable.elf /media/usbdisk/
umount /media/usbdisk
mount -t vfat /dev/sda1 /media/usbdisk
cp /media/usbdisk/executable.elf /home/executable2.elf
diff /home/executable.elf /home/executable2.elf

The "diff" command should report nothing different, which means the copies are successful.

  1. The "umount /media/usbdisk" and "mount -t vfat /dev/sda1 /media/usbdisk" commands ensure the copy goes through to the thumb drive, and the read later is from the thumb drive, instead of temporary buffers in the system.
Disconnect the Thumb Drive

Since disconnecting the thumb drive during transfers can corrupt data on the thumb drive, it is safer to issue following command before disconnecting the thumb drive:

umount /media/usbdisk

Wait until the flashing on the thumb drive finishes, and then you can safely disconnect the thumb drive.

Working with the USB Host Controller with Full Speed Support

The USB Host Controller core version 1.01a and v1.02a have Full Speed(FS) support, now we can finally connect USB speakers and USB microphones for some music fun! Note that you can configure the hardware to be High Speed (HS) only, or HS/FS hybrid. The HS only configuration works as before, this section discusses how to use the HS/FS configuration. Be aware that most commercial USB speakers, USB microphones, or USB headphones are FS devices.

The only difference of using the HS/FS configuration is that you have to enable "Transaction Translator".

Under "Device Drivers"

Enable "USB Support"

Enable "Support for Host-side USB"

Enable "EHCI HCD (USB 2.0) support"

Enable "Root Hub Transaction Translators"

Working with USB Microphones and USB Speakers

This would be a little bit involved on software side, because of the libraries you need to put into your Linux system. How to do that is beyond the scope of this documentation. Please refer to internet for information on how to setup that. We use a full-fledged root filesystem, that is put onto a Flash Card (with Xilinx SysACE support in Linux Kernel).

In this section, we do not have a fancy player to charge along with the microphone and speakers. You can certainly find one for your system for better sound quality control.

We use the following audio devices for our audio testing, they are all well supported by Linux:

  • Logitech Quickcam pro 9000 (HS audio IN)
  • Logitech desktop microphone (FS audio IN)
  • Insignia notebook speakers NS-NBSPK2 (FS audio OUT)
Linux Configuration to Enable USB Microphones and USB Speakers

The support for USB audio devices is under the "Sound card support" section inside "Device drivers".

Under "Device Drivers"

Under "Sound card support"

Enable "Advanced Linux Sound Architecture" (ALSA)

Enable "OSS Mixer API"
Enable "OSS PCM (digital audio) API"

Enable "OSS PCM (digital audio) API - Include plugin system"

(optional) Enable "Support old ALSA API"
(optional) Enable "Verbose procfs contents"
Enable "USB sound devices"

Select "USB Audio/MIDI driver"

Using USB Microphone

Plug in your USB microphone, check your /dev/ directory for newly discovered devices (note: you need udev support for this, otherwise, you can statically mknod for your audio devices in the /dev/ directory.). We assume it is /dev/audio.

A simple way to record your audio through microphone is using the "cat" command and pipe it to a file:

cat /dev/audio > ~/myaudio

Using USB Speakers

As using the USB microphone, playing music through the USB speakers is through the "cat" command too. We assume your speakers come up as /dev/audio1:

cat ~/myaudio > /dev/audio1

Amazingly, the sound quality is good!

Other helpful sites:

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