Seven-port USB 3.1 Gen1 SmartHub IC for USB Type-C

November 04, 2016 // By Graham Prophet
Microchip’s USB58xx and USB59xx SmartHubs are seven-port USB 3.1 Gen1 hub ICs that promise simpler designs and cost savings over previous solutions. These families of hub ICs offer manufacturers multiple direct interfaces to USB Type-C connectors for enabling 5 Gbps USB data rates in a single integrated circuit.

Features include;

- Integrated 2:1 multiplexer supports reversible connection of USB Type-C

- PortSplitting provides expansion to more than seven ports from a single device

- Includes built-in Billboard support, I/O bridging and FlexConnect for expanded functionality

- Support for legacy non-USB Type-C interfaces and battery-charging

- Microchip’s free USBCheck reviews schematics and layout designs

- Available in industrial and automotive grades


Applications such as monitors, docking stations, digital televisions, set-top boxes and computing peripherals benefit from the expanded number of external USB 3.1 Gen1 ports available for data connections within a single, monolithic device. Having a hub IC that supports seven ports avoids the power and cost problem of tiering two four-port devices to provide sufficient downstream ports for end-customer applications. Microchip’s SmartHub technology can further reduce bill of materials (BOM) cost by enabling I/O bridging and FlexConnect for expanded USB hub functionality without adding any additional components.

Microchip enables multiple, direct USB Type-C connections through integrated 2:1 multiplexers which supports the reversible connection feature of the USB Type-C connector. In addition, the devices can expand beyond seven ports through PortSplitting, which allows embedded applications to only use the interface needed for their internal USB connection. Each device also has built-in Billboard support for notifying users when an unsupported device has been connected in a USB Power Delivery application. In addition, the USB58xx and USB59xx families are supported by Microchip’s USBCheck, a free engineering service for reviewing schematics and layout designs.

The product families support a range of solutions based on the application requirements for USB Type-C interfaces. The USB59xx family (three variants) supports direct upstream interface of USB Type-C, while the USB58xx (four variants) provides support for legacy, non-USB Type-C interfaces. Both families support legacy battery charging including BC1.2, Apple devices and many non-standard devices available in the market today. Both families are available in 100-pin QFN packages in industrial and automotive grades.