We all have junk drawers overflowing with chargers and cables, perhaps some dating back to the old Jurassic-era flip phones. They pile up after we’ve upgraded our phones.
But with the possibility of some newly released smartphones that will exclude chargers—something confirmed with the introduction of Apple’s iPhone 12—it’s a good sign that engineers to step up designs for USB Type-C systems for the many devices they power.
For years, the 24-pin USB Type-C connector systems have been a highly integrated power solution for smart devices, evolving in development and elbowing their way past traditional USB options. Because of their ease of use and small size, they have the potential to become the sole data port for laptops and smartphones (iPhone 12, BTW, has kept its port for the slower lightning connectors).
USB-C connectors and cables replace various electrical connectors, including USB-B and USB-A, HDMI, DisplayPort and 3.5mm audio cables and connectors. They also connect to both hosts and devices. But they still must be able to interface with non-USB devices such as monitors and televisions.
USB-C can deliver up to 100W power, which adds bi-directional power flow between two devices, expanding the range of power-delivery options available to the designer.
This week’s New Tech Tuesdays looks at two specific Type-C products—a controller and receptacle—from On Semiconductor and CUI Devices. These parts deserve a look and are candidates to be in your next charger design bill of material (BOM).
Speaking of power, the FAN6390MPX from On Semiconductor is an adaptive USB Type-C charging controller that is fully USB-PD 3.0 compliant (Figure 1). FAN6390MPX allows for voltage controls from 3.3V to 21V and current limits from 1A to 3A to meet a wide range of applications and power-level requirements.
The FAN6390MPX makes an ideal battery charger choice for smartphones, tablets, or AC-DC adapters requiring Constant-Voltage (CV) and Constant-Current (CC) control.
Best of all, the FAN6390MPX includes an internal synchronous rectifier control and an NMOS gate driver for VBUS load switch control.
Figure 1: FAN6390MPX allows for voltage controls from 3.3V to 21V and current limits from 1A to 3A to meet a wide range of applications and power-level requirements. (Mouser Electronics)
The UJC Power-Only USB Type-C receptacle from CUI Devices mates with standard USB Type-C plugs and is designed especially for power-only applications (Figure 2). This 6-pin receptacle is housed in a surface-mount package and is rated for 3A and 20VDC. The UJC receptacle is a cost-effective solution for designs where charging or power is the lone function. The stainless-steel receptacle is reflow solder compatible and has a UL94V-0 flammability rating.
Figure 2: The UJC Power-Only USB Type-C receptacle is a cost-effective solution for designs where charging or power is the lone function. (Mouser Electronics)
USB Type-C is rapidly becoming the standard, the connector of choice because of its power and versatility. Design engineers will appreciate the power and diversity. And you’ll appreciate fewer power accessories in your junk drawer.
Tommy Cummings is a freelance writer/editor based in Texas. He's had a journalism career that has spanned more than 40 years. He contributes to Texas Monthly and Oklahoma Today magazines. He's also worked at The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, San Francisco Chronicle, and others. Tommy covered the dot-com boom in Silicon Valley and has been a digital content and audience engagement editor at news outlets. Tommy worked at Mouser Electronics from 2018 to 2021 as a technical content and product content specialist.
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