First programmable USB2 controller hubs launched

Microchip is expanding the USB2 Controller Hub (UCH2) portfolio it gained with the recent SMSC acquisition. Seven new UCH2 ICs, across three families, will be the world’s first to provide programmability, enabling the developers of PCs and mobile devices to configure their designs without external memory.

In addition, these are Microchip’s first UCH2s to support both USB2 and USB High Speed Interchip (HSIC) connectivity, maximum battery life via low-power modes such as Link Power Management (LPM), and the ability to replace wall chargers with advanced battery charging modes, such as BC1.2, Apple, SE1 and China charging. For applications that need to communicate over multiple protocols, these UCH2s feature direct I/O bridging to I2C, SPI, UART and general-purpose I/O. They also have the flexibility to support the behaviours of multiple operating systems, such as vendor-specific messaging and FlexConnect for simple port reversals.

While the PC market is converting to USB3, most market forecasts predict that USB2 will remain predominant in mobile devices until at least 2015. This continued use of both USB3 and USB2 means that designer of PCs and mobile devices will be challenged when it comes to ensuring interoperability while providing new features and maximum battery life. Microchip’s seven new UCH2s look to address these needs for both PC and mobile manufacturers. Whereas competing USB2 Controller Hubs only offer limited battery charging and require external memory for configuration, Microchip’s new UCH2s integrate “Quad Page” configuration OTP Flash memory, which reserves space for interoperability and other customisations by the designer, including four separate configuration opportunities.

Microchip has also sort to make it easy to generate configuration settings and programme the OTP memory, via its new ProTouch Configuration Editor software tool, which it has also just launched.

The ProTouch Configuration Editor software tool is bundled with the ProLink programming software. Microchip has also launched the USB2534 Eval Board (EVB-USB2534), which supports the development of USB charging designs using the new three-member USB253X UCH2 family for mainstream USB2 applications.

The USB-IF certified USB2532-1080AEN, USB2533-1080AEN and USB2534-1080AEN family of UCH2s, for mainstream USB applications, are available for sampling and volume production in 36-pin QFN packages. For HSIC connectivity and I/O bridging USB applications, the USB4624-1080HN and USB4604-1080HN family of UCH2s are also available for sampling and volume production in 48-pin QFN packages; whilst for mobile USB applications, the USB3813-1080XY and USB3613-1080XY family of UCH2s, in 30-pin WLCSP packages, are available for sampling, with volume production expected in July.


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