USB-C controller for fast charging of electronics in vehicles

21st November 2018
Alex Lynn

The embedded solutions provider, Cypress Semiconductor has announced the availability of an automotive-qualified USB-C controller with USB Power Delivery (PD) that enables fast charging of portable electronics in vehicles. The Automotive EZ-PD CCG3PA controller delivers a plug-and-play user experience to automotive charging ports.

It achieves this by providing support for the USB PD 3.0 standard with programmable power supply (PPS), Qualcomm’s Quick Charge (QC) 4.0 protocol, and legacy charging standards. As the standards continue to evolve, compliance and interoperability pose an ongoing challenge, but the programmable controller overcomes these issues with its firmware upgradeability. Additionally, the controller offers a high level of integration that minimises bill-of-material cost and simplifies designs, replacing multiple discrete components. 

Ajay Srikrishna, Vice President of Cypress’ Wired Connectivity Business Unit, said: “Car makers are basing their in-vehicle infotainment designs on drivers and passengers connecting their smartphones, tablets and other portable electronics, and they want to offer the convenience to quickly charge these devices without compatibility issues. Our highly-integrated Automotive EZ-PD CCG3PA controller simplifies the design of reliable, in-vehicle charging ports by minimising the need for external components. It enables fast charging while keeping pace with changes in standards.”

Cypress demonstrated the Automotive EZ-PD CCG3PA controller reference designs with DC/DC buck-boost converters from Monolithic Power Systems at the electronica trade show from November 13th to 16th in Munich, Germany.

“The combination of our MPQ4230 USB PD-optimised, configurable Automotive Buck-Boost Converter and Cypress’ Automotive CCG3PA PD controller delivers a best-in-class user experience for in-vehicle charging ports,” said Maurice Sciammas, Senior Vice President of Sales & Marketing at Monolithic Power Systems. “Our joint reference designs give automotive systems designers a complete, easy-to-implement solution.”

Cypress’ Automotive EZ-PD CCG3PA controller is AEC-Q100 certified for automotive-grade performance. The controller’s programmability enables load sharing between ports, cable compensation and output power throttling based on temperature and battery voltage. 

The one-chip solution minimises bill-of-material costs for USB-C power source products by integrating error amplifiers for constant voltage, constant current and PPS applications, a 30 V regulator that allows direct operation from VBUS, VBUS short protection on configuration channel (CC) pins, gate drivers for high-voltage power FETs, a low side current sense amplifier, and dedicated hardware for legacy charger detection protocols plus system level electrostatic discharge (ESD) protection. 

Programmable overvoltage and overcurrent circuitry protects systems against power overloads and other faulty operating conditions. The controller also integrates an ARM Cortex-M0 and 64KB Flash with read-while-write function for firmware upgradeability.

The Automotive EZ-PD CCG3PA controller is now sampling in a 24-pin QFN (16 mm2) package. The controller will be in production in the first quarter of 2019. Designers can get started with the CY4532 CCG3PA evaluation kit, which is now available for $149.

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