On 09/18/2010 10:25 PM, I wrote:
Alternatively, does a 'read' simply gather data from a FIFO that may or
may not have new data in it?


I don't know how Daniel's code works, but the model you described above is the idea behind USB isochronous transfer. Every frame, the iso source gets an opportunity to send a chunk of data. If it does so, and the other end has a buffer ready, the data goes into the buffer. If anything isn't ready, the data for that frame is lost.

In code that receives isoc data, you could swap buffers so that you keep older data around for reference or processing, but more commonly (I think) you just overwrite with a "use it or lose it" mindset.
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