Configurable IP supports USB Type-C and USB 3.1, 3.0 and 2.0 specifications

July 29, 2015 // By Graham Prophet
Synopsys claims the first USB IP solutions that support the USB Type-C (USB-C) connectivity specification, as well as the USB 3.1, 3.0 and 2.0 specifications.

The Type-C specification, often cited as the fastest-ramping interconnect specification to date, simplifies mechanical USB connectors with reversible cables (use either way round) , rotational symmetry (insert plug either way up), up to 10 Gbps data rate, bi-directional power delivery at configurable levels that can be as high as 100W, audio multiplexing and alternate modes such as DisplayPort and MHL. Synopsys’ DesignWare USB-C PHYs integrate Type-C functionality, reducing BOM costs by eliminating discrete multiplexers and crossbar switch components, which were previously required to support the small, reversible Type-C connector.

Synpopsys has introduced this IP first for 14/16-nm FinFET and 28-nm process points. The company says that the typical potential user looking to acquire IP for an SoC design will be adding the connectivity to a leading-edge and high-volume design, and will also, typically, be implementing it in a leading-edge technology.

Supporting the USB Type-C connector requires two SuperSpeed or Enhanced SuperSpeed datapaths, so designers could either implement two non-Type-C USB PHYs in a dual PHY solution or choose a single PHY that is optimised for Type-C. The DesignWare USB-C PHYs supporting USB 3.1, 3.0 and 2.0 offer an optimised solution with small (silicon) area and use up to 40% fewer pins (peripheral pinouts on an SoC die) than a dual PHY solution for Type-C.

The DesignWare USB-C PHYs are based on the established DesignWare USB PHY architectures that are shipping in volume in 28 nanometer (nm) and 14/16nm FinFET silicon, enabling designers to reduce system on chip (SoC) design risk when implementing the IP in advanced process technologies. The DesignWare USB-C PHYs are optimised for low power, meeting the stringent requirements of mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets, high volume consumer applications such as digital TVs, storage and networking applications.

The DesignWare USB-C 3.1 PHY offers 10 Gbps and 5 Gbps data transfer rates and consumes less than 55 mW power at 10 Gbps speeds. The DesignWare USB-C 3.0