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USB smart hub ICs enable smartphone-connected automotive infotainment

Microchip has unveiled five USB 2.0 smart hub ICs. The USB4xxx series will enable car manufacturers to provide a reliable, intelligent and intuitive connection between the car’s display and one or more smartphones or tablets.

The devices enable multiple architectures to easily interface with all major smartphone operating systems allowing the graphical user interface of the phone or tablet to be displayed on the vehicle’s screen and enable integration with voice commands inside the car, while at the same time charging the mobile devices. They also enable driver assistance applications on mobile handsets to be integrated with a vehicle’s infotainment system.

The smart hub ICs enable cascading of the hubs to the second- and third-row seats with simultaneous data and charging in all ports. For example, if there are dual USB ports, one port can connect the phone or tablet to the head unit, leaving the other port free to charge and upload/download data.

Microchip’s USB4715, USB4914, USB4916, USB4925 and USB4927 USB 2.0 smart hub ICs provide USB configurations including single- and dual-bus implementations for optimal connection to infotainment systems. All devices operate with standard USB drivers present in most automotive head units for faster development, system validation and field updates.

Each device also contains an integrated 32-bit microcontroller for advanced bridging, audio application support and USB Power Delivery (USB PD).

A demonstration application board and evaluation board are available for each of the new USB 2.0 smart hub ICs. The demonstration application board emulates a system that a tier one supplier or Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) would use in their application. Microchip also provides a USB Power Delivery application showing charging for the USB PD 3.0 specification.

The USB4715, USB4914 and USB4925 are offered in a 48-pin QFN package and the USB4916 and USB4927 in a 64-pin QFN package.

Author
Neil Tyler