CHANDLER, Ariz., February 26, 2019 — As firmware updates and larger media files become more prevalent in automotive entertainment consoles, faster data rates are required to reduce upload and download times. Microchip Technology Inc. (Nasdaq: MCHP) today announced 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.
“Microchip continues to invest in bringing devices to market that are at the forefront of USB technology in the automotive industry,” said Charles Forni, general manager of Microchip’s USB and Networking business unit. “From providing faster charging for mobile devices in the car console and backseat to introducing the industry’s first automotive USB 3.1 solution with USB Type-C compatibility, we continue to offer solutions that enhance the in-vehicle experience.”
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.
“Consumers expect infotainment systems in today’s vehicles to instantly respond without any delay,” said Dave Atkinson, director of business development, connected mobility solutions, Molex. “We leveraged Microchip’s USB7002 with 5 Gbps SuperSpeed data rates to ensure maximum functionality in our automotive media hub.”
The USB7002 IC comes with 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 their end products.
Pricing and Availability
The USB7002-I/KDXVA0 is AEC-Q100 Grade 3 qualified and available now starting at $4.05 in volume production quantities. For additional information and to purchase products mentioned here, contact a Microchip sales representative or authorized worldwide distributor.