Programmable controller integrates five chips in one

11th July 2018
Alex Lynn

A seven port USB-C hub controller with USB Power Delivery (PD) has been announced by Cypress Semiconductor. The programmable EZ-USB HX3PD hub controller simplifies 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 integrated controller is suited 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 drastically simplifies system design by integrating the functionality of these chips. Additionally, it reduces footprint with a 12x12mm package.

The controller includes a seven port, ten gigabits per second, 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.

Ajay Srikrishna, Vice President of Cypress’ Wired Connectivity Business Unit, stated: “Our new HX3PD hub solution brings ten gigabits per second performance to our leading portfolio of USB hubs for docking solutions, which includes HX3 and HX3C. The controller leverages our expertise in USB-C and USB Power Delivery to provide a highly integrated solution, continuing our long track record of being first to market with USB-C solutions and extending our leadership in SuperSpeed USB.”

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