Microchip announces an automotive-qualified USB 3.1 Gen1 SmartHub IC, offering up to 10 times faster data rates over existing USB 2.0 solutions and reducing indexing times to improve the user experience in vehicles. To support the rising adoption of USB Type-C in the smartphone market and enable universal connectivity in vehicles, the USB7002 SmartHub IC includes interfaces for USB Type-C connectors.
As automotive manufacturers continue to add more functions to vehicles and integrate with mobile phone applications, the role of USB for reliable data transfers requires robust functionality and faster transfer speeds. Consumers expect instant responses from infotainment systems despite many functions occurring simultaneously in vehicles, from transferring mapping data to playing music and interacting with user interfaces. The 5 Gbps SuperSpeed data rates of USB 3.1 ensure higher bandwidth and maximum functionality, making it well suited for applications that require gigabit speeds for faster data streaming, data download and in-vehicle communication. The USB7002 also reduces the download time for large videos, which is ideal for vehicles that have integrated 4K dash cams.
Consumer demand for faster mobile device charging has led to the rise of USB Type-C in the smartphone industry. The USB7002 combines the benefits of USB 3.1 technology with the rising popularity of USB Type-C. The USB7002 enables direct USB Type-C connections through native Configuration Channel (CC) pin interfaces and integrated 2:1 multiplexers that support the reversible connection feature of the USB Type-C connector.
To support the driver assistance applications that are now standard on all mobile handsets, the SmartHub ICs also include Microchip’s patented FlexConnect technology, which provides the unique ability to dynamically swap between a USB host and USB device.
The SmartHub ICs also feature patented multi-host end-point reflector technology, which enables USB data to be mirrored between two USB hosts.
These fundamental features enable the graphical user interface of a phone to be displayed on the vehicle’s screen and integrate with voice commands inside the car, while simultaneously charging the mobile device. This allows consumers to easily and safely use their mobile devices while driving, providing a user-friendly way to make calls, send messages and get directions while focusing on the road.
The USB7002 IC is supported by a complete solution including the MPLAB® Connect Configurator hub configuration tool, evaluation boards with schematics and gerbers to reduce development time. Microchip’s USBCheck™ services allow manufacturers to verify designs and layouts prior to sending out a PCB for manufacturing, significantly accelerating time to market for end products.