Cypress Semi Announces USB-C Controllers to Shrink Design Footprint of USB-Enabled DevicesMarch 22, 2020 by Luke James
Cypress Semiconductor recently announced its latest USB-C controllers that are designed to improve next-generation PCs and notebooks.
Adoption of the USB-C standard is quickly growing, with many new smartphones, PCs, and laptops now using it. And when you consider USB-C’s ability to both power devices and transmit data simultaneously using the same reversible connector, it is easy to see why. With the uptake of USB-C, however, comes a higher demand for new features, better data transfer rates, and more.
A product image of Cypress Semiconductor's EZ-PD BCR port controller, which enables users to quickly convert devices from being powered through a barrel connector to being powered through USB-C. Image used courtesy of DigiKey.
USB-C Series Controllers
Enter Cypress Semiconductor’s new series of dual- and single-port USB-C controllers—the EZ-PD, CCG6DF, and CCG6SF—that were announced earlier this month.
Cypress says that this latest series of USB-C controllers improves upon the design of previous generations by integrating multiple features. These include a VBUS provider load switch for power with fault protectors and an embedded 32-bit Arm Cortex-M0 processor with 64-KB flash for enhanced programmability.
Updates to the Product Line
The controllers also offer support for USB4, however, what this means exactly is unclear. According to Cypress’ press release, the controllers support "firmware upgrades to support the new USB4 standard" but they are not USB4 controllers, nor is any USB4 livery used on the product page for this series.
For those out of the loop, the new USB4 specification is a major update to USB’s architecture. Essentially, it doubles the bandwidth to build upon USB-C’s performance, enables multiple simultaneous data and display protocols, and is based on Thunderbolt. It is also backward compatible with USB 3.2, 2.0, and Thunderbolt 3, delivers up to 40 Gbps operation over 40 Gbps-certified cables and features two-lane operation.
Moving on from this, the integrated VBUS provider is a key feature. This allows the chip to support 100 W power delivery with fault protection. By integrating switch in this manner, design footprints and costs are significantly reduced.
“As the supplier of USB-C controller solutions, our deep system-level understanding allows us to continue to provide highly integrated solutions that maximize value for our customers,” said Ajay Srikrishna, vice president of Cypress' Wired Connectivity Business Unit. “Cypress’ latest CCG6DF and CCG6SF controllers provide the performance, programmability, and field-proven USB Power Delivery features needed by makers of notebooks, desktops, and all-in-one PCs.”
Cypress Semiconductor is now sampling its new series of USB-C controllers to select OEMs. Volume production is expected to begin in Q3 2020.