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Whats up with USB read speeds?

Posted by DimensionWarped 
Whats up with USB read speeds?
August 09, 2008 05:09PM
Ok, so for all of the media players I've messed with so far, it seems like reading from a USB thumb drive is really slow for some reason regardless of the speed of the USB device. If I'm not mistaken though, your typical USB thumb device reads significantly faster than your typical SD card. In fact, the write speed of the one I'm using is around 14 MegaBytes per second (though truth be told, I'm not sure if the read speed would be more). Whereas the write speed of my SD card is closer to 2.3 Megabytes per second (again, not sure if the read speed is better).

Also, according to everything I've read, the USB ports on the back of the Wii should be USB 2.0 ports... which should mean I'd be getting the same speed as on Computer.

So what I'm wondering is, is the slow USB reading speed simply due to programming, or is there some hardware issue that makes it slower. Also, what about the programming for a USB thumb drive is particularly unique? I know some of these devices do install drivers and stuff, but I'm not entirely sure they do anything special.
Re: Whats up with USB read speeds?
August 09, 2008 06:48PM
IOS currently only talks to the USB ports in USB 1.1 mode. USB2.0 is possible, but it would take an update from Nintendo or a rewritten IOS module from us. Neither is all that likely soon.
Re: Whats up with USB read speeds?
August 09, 2008 10:50PM
Huh. So they nerfed their own USB ports?

That seems absolutely bizarre to me...
Re: Whats up with USB read speeds?
August 17, 2008 03:47AM
Okay, reality check time.

Nobody really knows for sure what the Wii's USB hardware is capable of. It's a custom controller, and built inside of the Hollywood / Starlet, so we can't exactly look up a datasheet for it.

The IOS driver for the USB ports is called "oh0"/"oh1". This suggests the controller is OHCI, implying USB 1.1.

There is a list of modules in IOS35 that reads: kernel, eticket, fs, di, oh0, oh1, ehci, sdi, usbeth, net, wd, wl, kd, ncd, stm, ppcboot, ssl, usb, p2p. That's a list of possible modules; p2p and ehci are not actually included.

EHCI would imply USB2.0. However, it's not clear if this is actually possible on the Wii hardware; it's entirely possible that this is / was only supported on development units. Someone would have to try writing a driver from scratch for IOS, which is not something that is trivial to do.
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