New Industry Products

Single-Port USB Smart Hub ICs Optimize System Costs for Automotive Designs

June 09, 2019 by Paul Shepard

As demand for in-vehicle entertainment and smartphone applications continues to grow, automotive manufacturers must provide dependable and convenient connectivity in designs — all while optimizing system costs. Extending its portfolio of leading USB automotive products, Microchip Technology Inc. today introduced new single-port products to its USB 2.0 Smart Hub IC family, giving automakers more options to fit varying design needs.

Providing precisely what is required for single-port implementations, the USB4912 and the USB4712 are designed for adding a single port under the radio, in the center console or alongside wireless charging implementations.

Using the same patented methods as their multi-port family, the USB 2.0-compliant devices offer single-port ICs in smaller footprint packages, optimizing a customer's Bill of Materials (BoM) and lowering total system costs. Now with both single-and multi-port options that share the same software, designers can choose configurations and seamlessly implement solutions that fit their designs and get to market faster. These diverse USB solutions support smartphones, tablets and other connected devices, without compromising signal integrity.

"The development of these devices is a direct response to customer demand for single-port implementations," said Charles Forni, vice president of Microchip's USB and Networking business unit. "Building on Microchip's leadership in the multi-port space, we now offer everything from one to four ports that support USB 2.0 and USB 3.0. As always, our solutions are backed by Microchip's global support team and development tools to simplify the design process."

By using native USB drivers and mechanisms like Microchip's patented role swapping technologies, multi-host reflector and FlexConnect, the USB4912 and the USB4712 Smart Hub ICs optimize design and easily integrate with infotainment head units, allowing a seamless connection with the smartphone ecosystem of software and applications. Each device includes an embedded 32-bit microcontroller (MCU) for the implementation of USB I/O bridging.

Both devices support USB 2.0 Low Speed, Full Speed and Hi-Speed with a single USB 2.0 Hi-Speed upstream port for host connection, while the USB4912 — a low-power, configurable, USB 2.0 hub controller — allows connectivity to be extended to GPIO, I2C, SPI and UART so that the USB Smart Hub becomes the center for system connectivity and control.

Pricing and Availability

Both USB products are offered in a 40-pin VQFN package, compliant with the USB 2.0 specification and have passed AEC-Q100, grade 3 testing. The USB4712 is available for $1.60 and the USB4912 is available for $1.89, each in 10,000-unit quantities.