USB Implementers Forum
The USB Implementers’ Forum (USB-IF) is a non-profit organization to promote and support the Universal Serial Bus. Its main activities are the promotion and marketing of USB, Wireless USB, USB On-The-Go, and the maintenance of the specifications, as well as a compliance program.
The working committees within USB-IF are:
- Device Working Group
- Compliance Committee
- Marketing Committee
- On-The-Go Working Group
The USB-IF web caters for developers who can freely sign up to the developer web-forums and access documentation, however to join a working group one has to work for a member company or register as a member. The developer forums cover USB hardware and software development and is not an end-user forum.
In 2014 they announced a new USB connection called "USB Type-C". It transfers data with 10 Gbit/s and charges devices with up to 100 Watts. The release is planned within 2014.
Obtaining a vendor ID
A vendor ID is necessary for obtaining a certification of compliance from the USB-IF. The USB-IF is responsible for issuing USB vendor IDs to product manufacturers. Despite the purported non-profit nature of this organisation, the cost for simply issuing this number is a minimum of US$5,000. Additionally, if a manufacturer of a USB device wishes to use the logo then this becomes a 2-year licensing fee. Some microcontroller manufacturers offer a free or low cost sublicense of their vendor ID for development/testing and limited production (generally under 10,000 units). Vendors offering this free service include:
- Dream S.A.S.
- Energy Micro
- Luminary Micro
- NXP 
- Silicon Labs
- Texas Instruments
- MTP (Media Transfer Protocol)
- Personal Computer Memory Card International Association (PCMCIA)
- USB On-The-Go
- Wireless USB
- How to get a vendor ID from the USB-IF
- Dream S.A.S. USB Vendor ID Application
- Energy Micro Application for USB PID Sublicense
- FTDI USB Vendor ID Application
- Luminary Micro (now part of Texas Instruments) USB Vendor ID Application
- Microchip USB Vendor ID Application
- NXP to offer global USB Vendor ID program
- Silicon Labs USB Vendor ID Application
- STMicroelectronics USB Vendor ID Application
- Texas Instruments USB Vendor ID Application