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USB Type-C Controller Targets Fast Charging of Portables in Vehicles

Jan. 11, 2019
This automotive-qualified part simplifies the design of in-vehicle charging ports by minimizing the need for external components.

Carmakers are basing their in-vehicle infotainment designs on drivers and passengers connecting their smartphones, tablets, and other portable electronics. And one important goal in that endeavor is to offer the convenience to quickly charge these devices without compatibility issues.

Cypress Semiconductor’s EZ-PD CCG3PA is a USB Type-C and Power Delivery (PD) controller targeting fast charging of portable electronics in vehicles. The controller is designed to deliver a plug-and-play user experience to automotive charging ports by providing support for the USB PD 3.0 standard with a programmable power supply (PPS), Qualcomm’s Quick Charge (QC) 4.0+ protocol, and legacy charging standards.

By way of review, the USB PD standard enables the power delivery of USB power up to 100 W, sufficient to drive large devices such as laptops. USB PD 3.0 also offers increased amounts of information about the device being charged and its power/ battery. The specification makes it possible to simultaneously power multiple devices, eliminating the need for a dedicated ac adapter for each device.

Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 4+ chargers enable devices to be charged without Quick Charge technology or the Snapdragon architecture inside them. This is possible because Quick Charge 4+ supports USB PD as its primary communication protocol.

As standards continue to evolve, compliance and interoperability pose an ongoing challenge, but the EZ-PD CCG3PA overcomes these issues with firmware upgradeability. The solution minimizes bill-of-materials (BOM) costs for USB Type-C power source products by integrating error amplifiers for constant voltage, constant current, and PPS applications; a 30-V regulator that allows direct operation from VBUS; VBUS short protection on configuration channel (CC) pins; gate drivers for high-voltage power FETs; a low-side current-sense amplifier; and dedicated hardware for legacy charger detection protocols plus system-level electrostatic-discharge (ESD) protection.

Cypress' automotive-qualified EZ-PD CCG3PA controller enables fast charging of portable electronics via a vehicle’s USB Type-C ports.

Programmable overvoltage and overcurrent circuitry protects systems against power overloads and other faulty operating conditions.

The controller incorporates an ARM Cortex-M0 processor and 64-kB flash with read-while-write function for firmware upgradeability. The part also features integrated USB Type-C port protection, VBUS-to-CC pins short protection (the mechanical twisting and sliding of the Type C connector could short pins due to the close proximity they have in this small, 2.4-mm-high connector plug), 30V-tolerant regulator, high-voltage PFET gate drivers, VBUS overvoltage and overcurrent protection, and ESD protection.

CCG3PA supports Downstream Facing Port (DFP, typically the USB Type-C port on a host, such as a PC or downstream port of a hub, to which devices are connected), Upstream Facing Port (UFP, a device-side port that may or may not be charged or be powered from VBUS), and Dual Role Port (DRP, for devices that may act as either a source or sink for power).

Cypress also offers the EZ-PD CCGx Power Software Development Kit (SDK), which facilitates the development of a variety of power source and/or sink solutions using the controller.  The SDK includes a USB Type-C and USB-PD specification compliant firmware stack, reference firmware applications, and documentation.

The CCGx Power SDK is based on Cypress’s IDE—PsoC Creator—and makes use of the free GNU ARM tools that are packaged with PSoC Creator. The reference firmware is provided in the form of workspaces that can be opened using PSoC Creator and modified to meet the target hardware design. The company has USB Type-C and Power Delivery reference designs readily available online for various applications that can be used to speed up the design cycle.

Cypress’s Automotive EZ-PD CCG3PA controller is AEC-Q100 certified. It comes in a 24-pin QFN (16 mm2) package.

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