Power

5V USB-C controller targets low-voltage applications

19th March 2020
Mick Elliott

The STUSB4500L from STMicroelectronics is a small-footprint addition to the company’s USB-C controller IC family designed and certified for pure 5V sink-only applications.

All mandatory features to use the USB-C connector as a 5V universal power plug are integrated, allowing designers to implement USB-C charging solutions quickly and easily without studying the standard or writing code.

USB-C is rapidly becoming established as a replacement for Micro-B or Mini-B plugs, for both power and data connections, as it offers the advantages of reversible orientation and greater robustness -- up to 10,000 connect/disconnect cycles.

This new USB-C controller IC is a stand-alone, plug-and-play interface product, targeting low-voltage applications such as Bluetooth speakers, computer accessories, Wi-Fi access points, point-of-sale equipment, LED lighting, and USB dongles.

It can also be used for powering equipment such as single-board computers and hardware development kits.

The controller IC runs without additional code and requires no external support from the microcontroller, which eases adoption of the USB-C connector standard by saving time-consuming design work.

The STUSB4500L is auto-powered via VBUS from the connected source and does not need to be supplied from a local battery or on-board power. Zero leakage current prevents draining the battery when not charging.

Input over-voltage protection prevents low-voltage equipment being damaged if it is incorrectly connected, for example, to a 20V source from a USB PD AC adapter rather than the required 5V supply.

Further features include ‘dead-battery’ support to ensure correct identification by the source when the battery is fully discharged, true cold-socket implementation which keeps the VBUS switch open by default until safe 5V input power is supplied, source power-budget identification and error-recovery support to ensure correct re-starting when a fault is triggered.

The STUSB4500L is in production now, in a choice of 4mm x 4mm QFN-24 package or 2.6mm x 2.6mm CSP-25 chip-scale package, priced from $0.70 and $0.75 respectively for orders of 1000 pieces.

To ease prototyping, the reference design EVAL-SCS002V1, which has a small footprint of just 2.5 cm², can be ordered from ST or distributors. For fast implementation into proprietary designs, the full PCB design libraries can be downloaded free of charge from st.com.

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