Several weeks back, I came across a really strange post on the VMTN communities asking how to change the Device ID (DID) and Vendor ID (VID) for a USB Device that has been passthrough to a VM from ESXi? The device in question is the Google Coral USB Edge TPU (Tensor Processing Unit) Accelerator, which is a relatively in-expensive device that can help accelerate machine learning (ML) inferencing. With all the buzz these days with Generative AI and ChatGPT, I can only imagine its popularity has grown even further but I did not realize how popular this device has been in the community, especially for those wanting to use it with ESXi.
The initial observation reported by this user and also by many others in the Coral community was that ESXi was showing the incorrect VID/DID for the Coral USB device and because of this, it was not working correctly when passthrough'ed to a VM and they were looking for a way to change the DID/VID value from 1a6e:089a (Global Unichip Corp.) to 18d1:9302 (Google Inc.).
Interestingly enough, a couple of weeks ago, my buddy Alan Renouf had also shared that he recently purchased the Coral USB device, so I figured I would check with him first to see if he was observing the same behavior that was being reported, which he was. I had been going through the Github reports to try better understand the issue and some of the previous workarounds that users had done including disabling the vmkusb module, which I definitely not recommended, especially for more recent releases of ESXi where that will simply disable all USB functionality to your ESXi host.
I still could not wrap my head around the issue as the reports did not make any sense in terms of the DID/VID not being claimed correctly or that it needed to change to properly function. This also did not make sense when speaking with our USB expert (Songtao who also developed our USB Network Native Driver for ESXi), so I decided to bite the bullet and purchase the Coral USB device, which apparently is difficult to obtain unless you overpay on Amazon, which I did.