Microchip USB 2.0 4-Port Controller Hub connects smartphones to automotive infotainment

Microchip Technology Inc. has extended its USB2 Controller Hub (UCH2) portfolio with the automotive-grade, 4-port USB84604 IC. Featuring FlexConnect technology and an upstream port that supports both USB2.0 and High Speed Interchip (HSIC) connectivity, the new USB84604 UCH2 is ideal for automotive infotainment system designs, where USB port expansion and connectivity is needed.Microchip’s FlexConnect technology allows for easy port reversals or “role swapping.” The USB84604’s downstream port 1 is able to swap with the upstream host port, thus transferring the host capability to the product connected to the UCH2, such as smartphones and tablets. This unique feature allows for the smartphone ecosystem of software and applications to be connected to the automobile infotainment system.

The IC’s HSIC connectivity, which incorporates Microchip’s Inter-Chip Connectivity technology, enables the USB84604 UCH2 connected on a circuit board to utilize the USB 2.0 protocol, dramatically decreasing power consumption. This power reduction is most obvious when actively transferring data, and has been measured to be one seventh of the power consumed by a pair of traditional USB 2.0 physical-layer transceivers.

The 4-port USB84604 UCH2 can attach to an upstream port as either a Full Speed hub or as a Full/High Speed hub. When connected to a High Speed host, the four downstream-facing ports can operate at Low Speed (1.5 Mbps), Full Speed (12 Mbps) or High Speed (480 Mbps). Additionally, the USB84604’s integrated battery-charger-detection circuitry supports both downstream battery detection and charging, providing the ability to replace external battery chargers with advanced battery-charging modes such as USB-IF Battery Charging (BC1.2) and Apple.

The USB84604 UCH2 is the latest to be supported by Microchip’s free ProTouch hub configuration software tool, which is available today for download from http://www.microchip.com/ProTouch-111014a. ProTouch software makes it easy to generate configuration settings and program the UCH2’s internal OTP memory, or any external SPI Flash. The USB4604 Evaluation Board (part # EVB-USB4604, $399.99) is available today, enabling FlexConnect applications and allowing access to the UCH2’s digital pins used in I2C, GPIO and UART bridging. This development tool also contains onboard SPI Flash that enables different revisions of the silicon to be evaluated on the same PCB.

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