What is a Hi-Speed USB Host Controller

Hi-Speed USB Host Controller is needed for USB2 devices to operate at full speed. A USB high speed controller is installed only where there is a USB2 hardware installed on the computer. If a USB2 device is connected into a computer which is without USB2 hardware, the system automatically shows the notification for not having the driver.

The speed of High Speed USB is nearly 48 times faster than that of its previous full speed protocol. This is only possible with the help of USB host controller which is to be installed into the computer. This process is easily and can be done within minutes.

Hi-Speed USB controller is hardware inside the PC that provides high speed USB functionality on the ports, which is to be installed while upgrading to high speed USB controller. 

The old standard of USB was 1.1, and allowed a maximum speed of 12 megabits per second i.e. approximately 1.5 megabytes per second. Considering todays scenario, the file transfers are to be made which consists of large sizes. For Example – if a user wants to transfer a movie file (say 700 MB’s) then the old 1.1 standard would consume around 8 minutes which is quite a large wait considering today’s scenario. Whereas, on the other hand, the USB 2.0 can perform as fast as 480 megabits per second (approx. 57 MB per second) which results in copying the movie file in just 11 seconds which is just a huge improvement over the old USB format.

One high speed USB controller can control several USB ports which can be obtained by installing a hub. The Hi- speed USB host controller cannot make an older version i.e. USB 1.1 device operate at the speed equivalent to that of USB 2.0 device. Hi- speed controllers are backward compatible, i.e. falling back to the slower 1.1 standard if the device required (i.e. Hi- speed USB host controller) is not installed on that particular computer system.

One problem with the hi- speed USB host controller is that, if there are no free slots present on the motherboard for installing USB 2.0 device, then the user may need to purchase a new system and then also may have to free up the space by removing an unused disk drive which may be present on the motherboard for having USB 2.0 hardware.