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Cypress unveils programmable controller that integrates the functions of five chips in one

Cypress Semiconductor has unveiled the industry’s first 7-port USB-C hub controller with USB Power Delivery (PD).

The programmable EZ-USB HX3PD hub controller looks to simplify the USB-C dock system designs by integrating the functionality of five chips into one, lowering bill-of-materials (BOM) and reducing board size by as much as 50%. The highly-integrated controller is intended for notebook and tablet docking stations, monitor docks and multi-function USB-C peripherals.

USB-C docks have been complex to design, requiring two USB hubs to support internal and external connections, a dedicated controller for every USB-C port that supports USB PD charging, along with a USB billboard and USB-C bridge controller to report operating status and connection failures.

The EZ-USB HX3PD hub controller simplifies system design by integrating the functionality of these chips. It reduces footprint with a 12-mm-by-12-mm package. The controller includes a 7-port, 10-Gbps USB 3.1 Gen 2 hub, two USB-C ports with USB PD 3.0 charging, and a dock management controller that supports USB Billboard functionality and secure firmware downloads. The controller’s programmability enables designers to keep pace with changes to the USB-C and USB PD specifications and resolve interoperability issues. The controller also prevents degradation of USB signals by integrating a configurable USB PHY that improves signal quality to meet and exceed USB compliance requirements.

The USB Type-C and Power Delivery standards are gaining rapid support with top-tier electronics manufacturers by enabling slim industrial designs, easy-to-use connectors and cables, and the ability to transmit multiple protocols and deliver up to 100 Watts of power.

The USB Type-C standard’s 2.4-mm-high connector plug is significantly smaller than the current 4.5-mm USB Standard-A connector.

Author
Neil Tyler

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