Introducing the Type-C SuperMUTT

MCCI introduced our Model 3501 Type-C SuperMUTT today, the latest addition to our line of USB development tools!

You may be wondering, however, “What’s a SuperMUTT?”

Let’s break it down.

In the beginning…

Back in the early days of USB 2.0, Microsoft needed a tool that would let them verify the operation of high-speed host controllers and of their USB host stack. So they invented a test tool, and named it the “Microsoft USB Test Tool”, or “MUTT“.  This device has a Cypress FX2 controller chip and a lot of test firmware that let it emulate a variety of devices and thoroughly exercise all four transfer types on USB: bulk, interrupt, control and isochronous. It was a small device, that plugged into the USB port like a thumb drive.

The next generation…

When USB 3.0 came out, Microsoft wanted a similar tool for testing SuperSpeed host ports. So the “SuperMUTT” was born.  This device has a Cypress FX3 controller, which adds SuperSpeed support (now known as USB 3.1 gen 1, or 5 gigabit USB).  Again, they added a lot of firmware and host software, but the concept was the same — a small devic ethat plugs into the USB port like a thumb drive.


I suspect you can guess where this is going.  The Type-C SuperMUTT is simply the SuperMUTT, enhanced for Type-C support. But why is it so much bigger?

Well, the Type-C connector can do a lot more than the original Type-A connector.  For example:

  • You can power your PC through the port
  • You can use DisplayPort alternate mode to drive a monitor from the port
  • If your PC is running from another power source, you supply a lot of power to external devices

This is very nice for the user, but it’s a big job to test Type-C software thoroughly.  So the Type-C SuperMUTT adds the following features to the original SuperMUTT

  • Support for signaling over the CC wire of the Type-C cable
  • Support for the USB Power Delivery specification
  • Ability to pass power from an external supply to the unit under test (as instructed by the Power Delivery specification)
  • Support for alternate modes, particularly DisplayPort
  • Support for connecting to an external charger, again for testing.

In order to be able to accurately emulate all the variants of the PD specification, the PD interface is implemented with a Lattice iCE 40 UltraPlus FPGA. This gives the ability to emulate the different design decisions of different manufacturers, as well as the ability to emulate and inject various kinds of faults.

With all of this functionality, and all of the electrical power that can be handled, we needed to have a fan. And we needed to have a robust enclosure.

Hence the model 3501 as you see it above.

As you might guess, the 3501 was developed in conjunction with Microsoft; they’ll be supplying the Windows test software and embedded firmware for the product. We’ll be receiving the second production lot in late September, and we’re taking orders now via our online store.

A slight digression

You might have noticed that some of our literature calls the Model 3101-family of USB Connection Exercisers the “MUTT ConnEx-C”. This is because it’s really a part of the Microsoft USB Test Tool family (and you can see it here on the MUTT page at Microsoft).


Interested in learning more about the details? Post a comment here with your questions, or tweet me at @TmmMCCI, and I’ll do my best to answer.

TrueTask USB Host Provides Connectivity for Windows 10 IoT Core on Raspberry Pi 2

MCCI Supplies Quality USB Stack as part of Microsoft’s “Internet of Things” Platform

ITHACA, NY, July 8, 2015 – MCCI® is providing its TrueTask® USB Host stack as the connectivity engine for Windows 10 IoT (“Internet of Things”) Core operating system, targeting the Raspberry Pi 2 platform.

McKinsey Global Institute forecasts a $6.2 trillion annual IoT opportunity by 2025. The Raspberry Pi 2 is a very popular platform in the maker movement, providing remarkable computing power at a very low price. A high-quality USB host stack is a critical enabler for making Windows 10 on Raspberry Pi 2 a first-class platform for IoT development. MCCI’s TrueTask USB Host is proven technology that has been extensively tested, validated, and deployed on a mass scale by MCCI’s customers.

“With more than 10 billion USB devices shipped, and hundreds of thousands of different kinds of devices, USB is the most popular connectivity interface for device developers,” said Terry Moore, CEO, MCCI. “However, creating USB host stack is risky because of the testing and requirements needed to be compatible with the huge variety of devices. Our TrueTask USB platform is pre-tested and pre-verified so our customers can focus on enhancing their IoT products and don’t have to worry about USB connectivity.”

When preparing Windows 10 IoT Core for the Insider Preview release for Raspberry Pi 2 earlier this month, Microsoft Corp. needed a USB stack that could support the Synopsys USB core at the same level of quality as the Windows EHCI stack. The Raspberry Pi 2 SoC uses a Synopsys DesignWare USB 2.0 IP core to provide the USB host function, which is not compatible with the EHCI and XHCI register models used in traditional PCs, so the standard Windows stack could not be used. With 10 years of experience supporting the Synopsys core in deeply embedded systems, and 5 years of experience offering USB 3 host support for Windows 7, 8 and 10, MCCI readily ported its advanced USB stack to the Raspberry Pi 2.

MCCI’s TrueTask USB stack is based on the MCCI USB DataPump, which has been the “go-to” product for adding USB support to sophisticated consumer products for more than 20 years. MCCI’s TrueTask USB Host is platform agnostic, which makes it available for any hardware-software combination.

In addition to licensing USB system software, MCCI offers design consultation, integration and customization services as well as USB validation and hardware testing.

RealVNC selects MCCI as Automotive Partner

TOKYO, JAPAN, November 11, 2013 – RealVNC Limited, the original developer and leading provider of VNC® remote access and control software, and MCCI Corporation, the inventor of the industry standard USB NCM protocol for high-speed networking over USB,  today announced that RealVNC has selected MCCI as their preferred supplier of NCM class drivers for use with RealVNC’s VNC® Automotive products.

VNC Automotive is a collection of software modules that allow automotive head units and other consumer electronic products to incorporate comprehensive remote access and remote control capabilities for integrating smart phones with in-vehicle information and entertainment systems.

“Users are able to access their mobile content, such as navigation applications, traffic updates, music libraries and internet radio stations from the vehicle’s main display unit,” said Tom Blackie, VP Mobile at RealVNC. “The mobile device can be directly accessed and controlled from the vehicle’s head unit touch screen, bezel keys, steering wheel switches and by voice command, ensuring content can be accessed safely and simply. VNC Automotive gives OEMs a single common solution with access to the widest coverage of mobile devices, including many existing legacy devices already in use with end users.”

VNC Automotive is commonly used to connect smart phones to cars using USB. According to Terry Moore, CEO of MCCI, “USB provides an inexpensive, secure and high-throughput data connection, and can charge the phone while the user is accessing their mobile content. However, USB implementation is not as simple as it seems, and the user’s experience is frequently limited by the quality of the underlying USB implementation.”

Advanced phone/car connectivity is built using existing industry standards. MirrorLink™ (from the Car Connectivity Consortium) uses the VNC protocol and NCM over USB to integrate the phone with the car.  Apple’s iPod OUT performs similar functions in a way that is optimized for Apple’s products.

NCM is the unifying technology that allows modern protocols to run over USB without tailoring the protocols specifically for USB. NCM bridges between Ethernet-style datagram traffic and native USB. It is optimized for moving IP traffic between embedded systems at very high speeds. “We have found that MCCI’s implementations of NCM are consistently of the highest quality, and deliver the highest throughput for the user’s mobile content,” said Blackie. “As the key contributors and editors of the NCM specification, they know how to translate the requirements of the specification into fast, effective implementations. Our customers typically see a 5x increase in overall system throughput, especially for video content. Their years of experience supporting phone and platform OEMs in Japan, Korea, and Europe translate directly into higher quality code, more stable implementations, and better support for our VNC Automotive customers. Their cross-platform development strategy aligns very closely with the platforms we support.”

“Like RealVNC, MCCI specializes in delivering OEM software,” noted Moore. “MCCI supports all the same operating systems and target CPU architectures supported by RealVNC. We both support Linux, Android, Windows (XP, Automotive, CE), QNX, µITRON, and T-Kernel; running on ARM, x86, MIPS, and SH architectures from a variety of SoC vendors.”

“Automotive electronics makers often underestimate the complexity of providing a consumer-grade solution,” said Blackie. “They may try to do the higher level protocols themselves at first, but soon discover that VNC Automotive is easier and allows them to get to market more quickly. The critical nature of the USB connection is also often overlooked. The NCM specification is only 36 pages long, so appears deceptively easy to implement. We’ve had many customers come close to failing, based solely on the poor quality of the USB connection. Now, because of this partnership, they can easily get access to an integrated, pre-tested solution that meets international market needs, and interoperates with the widest possible range of smart phones.”

About RealVNC

RealVNC’s software is used by many hundreds of millions of people worldwide in every sector of industry, government and education. VNC is the original remote access software with a wide range of applications. The technology supports an unrivalled mix of desktop and mobile platforms and can be embedded in third-party products with a commercial license.

VNC is a registered trademark of RealVNC Ltd. in the U.S. and in other countries.

MirrorLink Certified™, the Design Only™ Certification Logo, MirrorLink™ and the MirrorLink™ Logo are certification marks and trademarks of the Car Connectivity Consortium LLC. Unauthorized use is strictly prohibited.

About MCCI

MCCI is a leading developer of embedded USB software for the high-volume personal computer and portable device markets. Customers include some of the world’s biggest brands in telecom, wireless, embedded and consumer devices including Qualcomm, Intel, Apple and Sony. Nearly one billion products have been delivered with MCCI technology. MCCI experts are actively involved in worldwide Technical Standards activities. A privately held corporation, MCCI has its headquarters in Ithaca, NY, with additional offices in New York City, India, Korea, Japan, and Taiwan. Visit MCCI at, Facebook and Twitter.


Note to Editors: MCCI, USB DataPump, and TrueTask are registered trademarks of MCCI Corporation. Other names mentioned are owned by their respective holders.