With the availability of a set of new Universal Serial Bus specs that reduce the size of current connectors by 50%, handle up to 20 Gbps and support recharging up to 100 watts, OEMs of a range of mobile, laptop and PC systems are in a rush to get them into their nextgen designs.
If they are to have the new USB specs into nextgen systems in time for the coming Christmas season, manufacturers in consumer electronics, in particular, are under the gun to turn around their final designs by the end of this summer. Unfortunately most semiconductor manufacturers have been caught flatfooted without dedicated silicon in the volumes that will be necessary.
According to Ganesh Subramaniam, Senior Marketing Manager for USB Type-C products, the e CYPD11XX CCG1 Type-C Port controller family (Figure 1. ) will be available for production in March, more than enough time for OEMs to get it into their designs in time for the Christmas season.
Figure 1. A CCG1-based USB Type-C connector
Type C and its companion power specification is an effort by the USB Promotors Group to create a “mother of all connector standards” that will drive all other alternatives out of consideration and allow manufacturers to replace the multiple PCIe and DisplayPort connector in many consumer electronics designs with just a single multipurpose one. (A CCG1 product video demonstrates the transmission of DisplayPort signals over a Type-C connection )
To do this, said Subramaniam, the Type-C cable contains two high-speed channels, each of which has transmit and receive lanes rated each at 10 Gbps. In the duplex mode, he said, Type C can deliver in both directions at the same time. “Add into this the ability of the Power Delivery 2.0 spec to deliver 100W of power, a 12 fold improvement over the previous 7.5W standard and you have something that is almost impossible for OEMs to ignore.
And the fact that Type-C specification's 2.4-mm-high connector plug (Figure 2 ) is significantly smaller than current 4.5-mm USB Type-A standard connectors will make it difficult for smartphone and other small footprint consumer electronics devices makers to resist as well.
Figure 2. USB Type C connector configuration
“As ubiquitous as the USB connector is in many designs, any one of these features would be enough to generate a lot of attention,” he said. “With the promise of less board area, more power, and higher transfer speeds, major OEMs have been rushing to get it into their new systems as soon as possible.”
Spotting this opportunity weeks after the new USB specs were released in August of last year, Subramaniam said Cypress engineers quickly developed a prototype based on PSoC and started showing it to most of the major OEMs before the end of last year.
“PSoC’s programmability allowed us to integrate the transceiver for Type-C communication within a matter of weeks and get intitial configurations out to OEMs quickly,” he said, giving the company a considerable edge in the Type-C port controller market, which is expected to be $65 million in 2015 and to grow to $350 million in 2019 at a CAGR of 40%.
In addition to providing both USB Type-C and USB Power Delivery port control capabilities solution, the scalable and reconfigurable core architecture of ARM Cortex-M0 based CCG1 makes it possible for a designer to implement a Type-C design to be scaled up to a complete 100-W USB Power Delivery through the use of the Alternate Mode mux it supports.
To make it even easier for OEMS to get it into their nextgen designs fast, the CCG1 also has Type-C cable ID IC for active and passive cables. CCG1 also incorporates analog and digital circuitry that detects connector insert, plug orientation, and VCONN switching signals. CCG1 also provides the control signals to manage external VBUS and VCONN power management solutions as well as external mux controls for most single cable-docking designs.
The CCG1 controllers integrate voltage-monitoring and current-monitoring circuitry that is critical for power adapter applications. “The controllers also provide design flexibility with firmware that can be upgraded during product development, in the production line, or in the field,” said Subramaniam. “This feature is particularly helpful for future USB-IF specification changes.”
He said the USB Type-C and PD compliance test specifications will not be finalized until late 2015. “What this means is that with a PSoC-based approach, OEMs can get to market as soon as possible with the current configuration of the spec and achieve final compliance when the spec has settled down and testing is complete by means of a simple firmware revision.”
CCG1s are available in a variety of packaging options (Figure 3 ) to support a wide range of end applications, including 40-pin QFN (36 mm2), a 28-pin SSOP (75 mm2), and a 35-pin WLCSP (6.9 mm2).
Figure 3. CCG1 devices packaging options.
Subramaniam said the 40-pin QFN is targeted toward notebook and monitor applications; the 28-pin SSOP is targeted at high-end power adapters, while 35-pin WLCSPs are designed for use in used in Type-C cables.
More information on Cypress Semiconductor's CCG1, including datasheets, application notes, and demonstration kits are now available for download.