OrangeUSB for the Macintosh

Last updated: April 5, 2002

OrangeUSB Related
General Information about USB 2.0 Technology

Q: I have a pre-G3 Power Macintosh computer, an OrangeUSB and the USB drivers seem to be installed properly but I cannot get any devices to work. Why?

The OrangeUSB PCI board is compatible with the Macintosh All-in-one G3, Power Macintosh Beige G3 rev. B or later, Power Macintosh Blue & White G3, and Power Macintosh G4 series computers. There is an incompatibility between the OrangeUSB 2.0 PCI board and all other PCI based Macintosh computers.

Q: How can I tell if my Power Macintosh Beige G3 is rev. B or later?

Use the Apple System Profiler, located in the Apple menu, to help determine which logic board revision you have. Open Apple System Profiler, click the System Profile tab within the window, and then look at the Production Information section. Compare it to the table below to determine which revision of the logic board is in your Power Macintosh G3 (platinum) computer.
ROM Logic Board
Versions Revision
$77D.40F2 revision A
$77D.45F1 revision B
$77D.45F2 revision C.

Q: What PCI based Power Macintosh Computers are NOT compatible with the OrangeUSB PCI board?

Power Macintosh 54xx, 55xx, 64xx, 65xx, 72xx, 73xx, 7500, 85xx, 86xx, 95xx, 96xx, Twentieth Anniversary Macintosh, Power Macintosh G3 Beige rev A and all Macintosh clones.

Q: The upper two ports on my OrangeUSB 2.0 CardBus PC Card function properly, however the two lower ports on the card do not function. Why?

This is a limitation of Mac OS 8.6 – 9.1. Apple has fixed this limitation in Mac OS 9.2, so to correct the issue simply DOWNLOAD (82 MB) and upgrade to Mac OS 9.2.1.

Q: What is USB 2.0?

USB 2.0 is an evolution of the USB standard. USB 2.0 handles up to 480 Mbps that creates opportunities for a new class of high performance outside-the-box peripherals. USB 2.0 provides a straightforward performance enhancement to USB 1.1 and offers forward and backward compatibility with USB 1.1 devices. USB 2.0 preserves USB 1.1 in the plug and play model, driver auto installation, and power management features. With use of the same cables and connectors, USB 2.0 is fully backward compatible with USB 1.1. For developer’s, no changes are required for applications and device drivers. USB 2.0 offers a compelling opportunity to migrate their USB peripherals to higher performance into the huge installed base of USB-capable PCs.

Q: What are the advantages of USB 2.0 over USB 1.1?

USB 2.0 offers 480Mbps of bandwidth, which are 40 times more bandwidth over USB 1.1 of 12Mbps for Full Speed devices or 1.5Mbps for Low Speed devices. High performance devices such as mass storage, broadband network connection, color printer and scanner can now be practically implemented in USB 2.0 for required bandwidth. Especially for printer and scanner type of application can take advantage of delivering data right on the time of demand which reduces the need of memory buffer inside the specific applications. Unlike in USB 1.1 and other buses, low and full speed devices will run at high speed rate of USB 2.0. This allows other devices on the bus to share the bus.

Q: What is meant by the slogan "USB 2.0 Ready"

USB 2.0 Ready means the OrangeUSB host controller will operate as a fully compliant USB 1.1 host controller for any USB 1.1 or USB 2.0 device under Mac OS 8.6 and Mac OS 9.x after installing Apple USB Adapter Card Support. Under Mac OS X, install OrangeUSB 2.0 Hi-Speed drivers and users can connect USB 1.1 and USB 2.0 Hi-Speed peripherals to a USB 2.0 Hi-Speed port. The current USB 1.1 peripherals will continue to have a data transfer rate of 12 Mbits/s, while USB 2.0 Hi-Speed peripherals will have a data transfer rate of 480 Mbits/s.

USB 2.0 Hi-Speed support is only available on Mac OS X at this time. When running on Mac OS X systems, USB 2.0 Hi-Speed will have a data transfer rate of up to 480 Mbits/s (Hi-Speed). When running on the Mac OS 8.6 and Mac OS 9.x USB will have data transfer rates of 12Mb/s (Full-Speed) and 1.5Mb/s (Low-Speed) peripherals.

Q: Where are the USB 2.0 Hi-Speed Drivers?

Orange Micro was the first to ship a USB 2.0 Host controller, Early 2001. At the time, the only USB 2.0 devices on the market were external USB 2.0 hard drives. Now CD-RW drives are plentiful. Every month new types of USB 2.0 devices are being announced. With each new class of device, changes may be required to the OrangeUSB 2.0 driver software. To insure that you have the newest USB 2.0 functionality as it becomes available, we provide the OrangeUSB 2.0 drivers on our Software Updates page. Check back periodically for updates to these drivers.

Certain types of devices may not be supported by Apple on the initial releases of Mac OS X. Here is the test to determine this: Because USB 2.0 devices are backwards compatible to USB 1.1, simply plug it into your USB 1.1 built-in port under Mac OS X. If it does not work, you will need to wait for a future update of Mac OS X. If it works in the Built-in USB port let us know so we can look into the problem.

Q: Can I use the USB 1.1 devices with others in USB 2.0 devices?

Yes. USB 2.0 is forward and backward compatible with USB 1.1. All USB 1.1 devices can be used simultaneously with USB 2.0 devices without affecting performance of either.

Q: Can I use the USB 2.0 devices with USB 1.1 host controller?

Yes. USB 2.0 is backward compatible with USB 1.1. You can use the USB 1.1 host controller with USB 2.0 devices. But you will not enjoy the 480Mbps benefit of the USB 2.0.

Q: Can I use the USB 1.1 cables in USB 2.0 environment?

Yes. USB 2.0 is backward compatible with USB 1.1 even down to cable and connectors. All cables and connectors in USB 2.0 and USB 1.1 are created equal. You can use the existing certified USB 1.1 cables to enjoy the full benefit of USB 2.0. However, we recommend USB 2.0 certified cables.

Q: Will USB 1.1 devices run faster in USB 2.0 environment?

No. USB 1.1 devices will not run at 480Mbps in USB 2.0 environment. But USB 1.1 devices will maintain better performance running through the OrangeUSB. This is due to brilliant architecture of multiple host controllers inside the OrangeUSB host controller chip. Users will be more productive with multiple USB 1.1 devices running together through the OrangeUSB board.

Q: What are the advantages of the OrangeUSB 2.0 Hi-Speed board?

The OrangeUSB 2.0 Hi-Speed PCI board uses an NEC chipset that has 3 USB host controller engines on board. Two of the host controller engines handle USB 1.1 transactions. One of the host controller engines handle, USB 2.0 transactions.

With 5 USB connectors available on the board, data traffic is automatically routed to the proper host controller engine depending on the speed of the device that is plugged into it. This essentially creates 3 concurrent USB buses. These USB buses allow devices to run in a less congested traffic environment. This helps devices such as color printers, scanners, video cameras and mass storage devices, which require a high bandwidth, to work well together.

© Orange Micro, Inc. 2002. All rights reserved.