USB Notes

USB is an abbreviation of Universal Serial Bus. Many of our computers rely on USB to connect the keyboard and mouse. Some also use it for mouning CD/DVD media or USB memory devices. This can make USB a requirement to run ArcaOS, OS/2 and eComStation.

IBM left OS/2 in 2006 with a reasonable USB 2.0 stack that supported a few devices. Mensys led an effort to build drivers from the IBM code, but IBM had not release the latest. That effort produced drivers that were close to the IBM drivers.

Arca Noae continued to develop the USB stack with the intent to support USB 3.0. Their drivers are restricted to subscribers. A free software version has been developed by NetLabs and most lately by Lars Erdmann.

The NetLabs releases of USB are numbered and continue the version numbering scheme started by IBM. The Arca Noae drivers started their numbering at 11.x, and continued to 11.17. At this point, Arca Noae rewrote the driver stack and started numbering with 12.x.

The 12.x stack is the only one to get USB 3 support, and that is not yet released to subscribers.

Both 10.x and 11.x drivers support isoscynchronous data transfers. These transfers allow OS/2 programs to send and receive audio and video streams.

USB Audio

The NetLabs USB Audio driver has been extended to work with the 10.x and 11.x USB stacks. The USB Audio 1.0 driver supports a large number of USB audio adapters that have high fidelity stereo output and mono input. The USB Audio 2.0 driver supports a limited number of devices with a great range of capabilities.

The USB Audio drivers require isosynchoronous data transfers, and will therefore only work with recent versions of USB 10.x and 11.x.

USB Audio 1.0 device
Last Modified: 11 Feb 2020
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