Electronic Components/USB Hubs and Switches.


Ethernet Switch
Ethernet Switch  
Ethernet Hub
Ethernet Hub  
QUESTION: Dear Deirdre


Can there be advantages in manufacturing Ethernet based USB Switches and Hubs similar to Ethernet 10/100 MBPS, Gigabit Ethernet switches for sharing computers and peripherals ?.

For example :

24 port Ethernet Switch / Hub having USB Ports on the Device, the Data transfer will be through USB Cables connected from USB Ports
to computers (servers,laptops,workstations,peripherals etc) having USB LAN controllers.

i.e. Comparing data transfer speeds offered by 10/100 MBPS Ethernet, Gigabit Ethernet v/s USB technology.

Awaiting your reply,

Thanks & Regards,
Prashant S Akerkar

ANSWER: USB and ethernet are very different systems with very different purposes, meaning that the hardware that works with them will be very different.

USB is a serial protocol where one host, the computer, can talk to a number of devices via a single USB port. A hub may be used to expand that port, but still a USB controller can address a maximum of 127 devicess, and only one controller may be on that leg. (It is possible with a special cable to connect two computers for purposes of data transfer, but this requires special software as well.)

Ethernet and TCP/IP are entirely different - each device is a host. Where a USB hub allows one computer to talk to any number of devices, an Ethernet hub allows any host to communicate with any other host. Switches allow traffic to be routed between individual host, keeping unnecessary traffic off network legs where it's not required.

In short, these are very different systems, with very different requirements, and the hardware is not analogous.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Dear Deirdre

Thank you.


Do you feel USB 3.0 technology can overcome this limitations in terms of data transfer speed and distance over Ethernet ?.

i.e. USB 3.0 LAN/MAN/WAN Networks over Ethernet 10/100 MBPS, Gigabit Ethernet Networks.

i.e. USB Cards, USB adapters, USB Cables, USB Hubs, USB Switches, USB Devices etc.

Awaiting your reply,

Thanks & Regards,
Prashant S Akerkar

USB 3.0 does not have any advantage over Ethernet regarding distance. USB is for local systems and devices such as hard drives, video, etc. The two have entirely different purposes.
Ethernet is for computer networking, USB is for peripheral devices. USB is perfect for attaching cameras, scanners, printers, audio equipment and other local devices. Ehternet networks are for connecting complete systems.
As in all things, there is a bit of overlap, but the systems are for very different purposes, and thus their hardware is very different.

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Deirdre Hebert


I can answer most questions regarding electronic components, what they are and how to use them.


I worked for a number of years in the electronic component testing industry, designing and building automated test equipment for the electronic manufacturing industry.

Numerous technical manuals for the equipment we built.

UNH, CCAF and others

Past/Present Clients
General Electric, Motorola, Ford, Sensonor and others.

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