Momentum continues to grow around the latest incarnation of USB, dubbed USB Type C. Synopsys recently introduced what it is calling “the industry’s first USB IP solutions that support the USB Type C specification.” The solutions are backward compatible as well, supporting the USB 3.1, 3.0 and 2.0 specs. In addition, Cypress has developed a USB controller that converts Gigabit Ethernet data to USB 3.0 data.
You’re probably aware that Type C simplifies mechanical USB connectors with reversible cables, rotational symmetry, a data rate up to 10 Gbps, bi-directional power delivery, audio multiplexing, and alternate modes such as DisplayPort and MHL.
The Synopsys DesignWare USB-C PHYs integrate Type-C functionality, which eliminates discrete multiplexers and crossbar switch components, resulting in a reduced overall BOM cost.
Supporting the Type C connector requires two datapaths, SuperSpeed or Enhanced SuperSpeed, so designers could either implement two non-Type C USB PHYs in a dual PHY solution or choose one PHY that’s optimized for Type C. The DesignWare USB-C PHYs use up to 40% fewer pins than a dual PHY solution for Type C.
Other available USB-related components from Synopsys include controllers, verification IP, IP prototyping kits, and IP software development kits. The kits provide the necessary hardware and software elements to reduce IP prototyping and integration, so designers can start implementing USB IP in an SoC very quickly.
Cypress Semiconductor’s SuperSpeed USB controller, the EZ-USB GX3 controller, addresses the trend toward slimmer industrial designs for laptops, whereby bulky Ethernet ports are being replaced with ultra-thin USB Type C ports. The controller also addresses adoption of USB 3.0 in tablets, docking stations, IP set-top boxes, smart TVs, and various other embedded systems.
Driver support is available for all major operating systems, including Windows, Mac OS, Linux, Android, and Chrome. The CY4701 USB 3.0 to Gigabit Ethernet dongle kit and CY4702 USB Type-C to Gigabit Ethernet reference design are available.