MichaelZ writes: [via]
While poking around SparkFun’s website I found USB Host Shield which is only marginally interesting unless you are an Arduino fan. But the USB host controller chip is interesting. The MAX3421E is a USB Peripheral/Host Controller with SPI Interface. This is an alternate to the FTDI VNC USB host controllers. It has only one USB port vs the FTDI two but for some applications it maybe the way to go. For example it could be used with a CPLD or FPGA as a USB Host. A SPI master is easy to implement in a CPLD/FPGA (similar to the dual ’595′s example). In VHDL a simple state machine could do all of the register control.
MAX3421E USB peripheral/host controller with SPI interface – [Link]