Cypress Semiconductor Corp., the market leader in USB-C, has announced that its USB-C solution has enabled Taiwan-based cable company ELKA International Ltd. to deliver the market’s first HDMI Alternate Mode (alt mode) cable. The cable allows next generation smartphones, digital cameras, set-top boxes and other HDMI-enabled sources with USB-C connectors to connect directly to displays with HDMI ports, including HD and 4K televisions. Elka selected the HDMI alt mode solution based on Cypress’ EZ-PD CCG3 USB-C controller, using its programmability to streamline firmware development and provide upgradeability. Cypress demonstrated its solution for HDMI alt mode over USB-C, along with Elka’s HDMI alt mode cable at the HDMI Developers Conference in Shenzhen, China on February 15, and will demonstrate it at the HDMI Developers Conference in Taipei, Taiwan on February 17.
All HD and 4K televisions include HDMI connections, but previously connecting USB-C enabled source devices required adapters or converters that do not enable all native HDMI features. With the Cypress HDMI alt mode solution, source device manufacturers can now utilise native HDMI features via USB-C connectors. Cypress developed the HDMI alt mode for USB-C specifications in conjunction with Panasonic and demonstrated the industry’s first solution at the recent Consumer Electronics Show (CES). Cypress’ EZ-PD controllers support HDMI alt mode, along with USB Type-C standard support for audio, video and data protocols, as well as USB Power Delivery (PD) for fast charging. More information on Cypress’s USB-C and USB PD solutions is available at www.cypress.com/Type-C/HDMI-Alt-Mode.
“People found the adapter cables required to connect their smart devices to HDMI displays very inconvenient, so we began to develop our HDMI alt mode for USB-C cable as soon as Cypress developed their solution,” said Roy Ting, executive vice president at Elka. “The programmability and integration of Cypress’ USB-C solutions made us confident we could optimise firmware quickly to design our cable to deliver the user experience consumers expected.”
“Cypress has been leading the way in USB-C innovations, and we are pleased to help our lead customer in HDMI alt mode address their design challenges and get to market first,” said Ajay Srikrishna, vice president of the Wired Connectivity Business Unit at Cypress. “Elka’s HDMI alt mode cable makes connecting a smartphone or a digital camera to a 4K TV a true plug-and-play experience.”
The EZ-PD CCG3 controller integrates independent gate drivers for external provider and consumer power FETs that deliver up to 100W over USB-C cables. The integration of a high-voltage regulator and analog blocks enables 2.7-V to 21.5-V operation, allowing CCG3 to be powered directly from the VBus. Leveraging integrated overvoltage and overcurrent circuitry and programmable detection thresholds, the controller protects systems against power overloads and other faulty operating conditions. The CCG3 controller includes an ARM Cortex-M0 processor, two 64KB flash memory banks for fail-safe firmware updates and an integrated Crypto Engine for firmware update authentication. CCG3 also incorporates an analog switch for non-USB signals, such as HDMI control signals, along with four serial communication blocks and a USB full-speed controller for USB Billboard functionality.