NXP Paves Way For USB Type C Connectors In Mobile Devices

NXP Paves Way For USB Type C Connectors In Mobile Devices

USB Type C connector supplied with courtesy of Foxconn Interconnect Technology

When USB was first introduced in the mid-1990s it went on to become the defining standard in computer connectivity. In its long history there have been various iterations of the USB connector including; USB 2.0 A, B, mini B and micro B; and USB 3.0 A, B and micro B. Now a new type of USB connection is about to join the USB family, the Type-C connector.

The new connector – at a size of 8.3mm x 2.5mm – will make SuperSpeed USB highly attractive for portable devices such as smartphones and tablet computers. Though slightly larger than the current Micro USB, the Type C connector will support faster charging. This makes it compatible not only for small mobile devices but larger devices such as tablet computers.

Another key advantage to this connector is that there is no ‘right way up’ and can be plugged in either way, making it more convenient for users.

USB Type C connector supplied with courtesy of Foxconn Interconnect Technology

USB Type C connector supplied with courtesy of Foxconn Interconnect Technology

NXP ESD Protection

To support this new industry defining connector NXP has released the new PUSB3TB6, a very small ElectroStatic Discharge (ESD) protection device designed to protect six ultra high-speed data lines.

It comes in a very compact DSN2111-7 (SOT1358-1) package and offers pass-through routing in combination with a relaxed 0.5 mm pin pitch. It also has a very low capacitance of 0.27 pF (typical) at 0V to support signal integrity.


A test board with PUSB3TB6 passed the eye-diagram requirement of Super-Speed Plus USB at 10 Gbit/s.NXP’s industry-proven deep snap-back ESD protection technology, in combination with a very low dynamic resistance of 0.5 Ohm provides a superior system-chip protection.

Rugged, compact design

Since portable devices, like smartphones, are likely to be dropped during their lifetime, NXP has subjected PUSB3TB6 to rigorous drop tests according to ESD22-B111/JESD22-A104-B. Using this testing procedure NXP can ensure functionality even after a large number of device drops. PUSB3TB6 has survived more than 1000 of these drops without failures. One device was even cycled 2000 times without failure.

The staggered pinning layout of PUSB3TB6 allows a very robust and compact package. Avoiding very long and narrow packages is one of the measures contributing to the high robustness of PUSB3TB6. Due to the integration of protection for six data lines, the new Type-C connector can be protected using a minimum number of devices.

To support the design-in, demonstration boards and layout recommendations can be provided. For more information about PUSB3TB6 go to www.nxp.com/pip/PUSB3TB6.html


  1. Avatar Sanjiv Pathak says:

    I am thrilled to read this. I see several immediate benefits to this advancement. Being able to charge a Smartphone or tablet faster is a distinct advantage. This connector will support that. Also, I can’t remember the countless times that I have tried to plug in a USB connector the wrong way: I am pleased to know that with this Type C connector, I can plug either way! Being able to do all this while also passing the eye diagram is an achievement. Congrats to NXP.

  2. Avatar Mike O'Dell says:

    Actually, you should thank Apple. A bit of technology history is in order.

    True, the USB1.0 was defined for some time before it finally caught on, but in the PC world it was known as the Unsupported Serial Bus because nothing used it. Windows 95 required a PS/2 keyboard and mouse, even for downloading flakey USB drivers for flakier USB hardware. So USB just hung around, waiting for a champion.

    Apple made USB1.0 a viable standard by dropping the Apple Desktop Bus “cold turkey” on the first iMac and jumping into USB with no lifeline. MacOS for the iMac required new USB keyboard, mouse, and host chips that actually worked according to specs, and more than a few bugs were found in the specs. Letting someone else (i.e., Apple) make the big down-payment on the “first adopter tax” was not a bad decision by the PC world.

    Apple’s leap of faith did jumpstart the initial production of working USB keyboards and mice, so a reason to have USB1.0 work on PCs finally arrived. And lo, Windows 98 supported USB1.0 keyboards and mice out of the box!

    Apple was still wrestling with system expansion, needing something easier and cheaper than SCSI for external drives and scanners. Given the lack of other alternatives and its timely emergence in the photography, video and graphics arts business (Apple core markets), Apple adopted Firewire 400. Motivations are always tricky to capture, but it sure seemed like easy, external disk expansion (instead of opening your PC) stimulated the improvements seen in USB2.0.

    By the time USB2.0 dropped, Firewire 800 was standard on Apple systems and external disk boxes with performance clearly superior to disks attached via USB2.0. Again, this appeared to motivate a response by the USB consortium: USB3.0. Again, everybody wins.

    The friendly competition is still on with Thunderbolt and its Switched PCIe3 channels, but for now, Apple is shipping both USB3.0 and Thunderbolt2 and those will likely be adequate quite some time.

    The big consumer win, however, was Apple replacing the 30-pin iPod body connector with the tiny “Lightning” connector. That demonstrated the market’s overwhelming love for a connector that had no “wrong”, just as the previous commenter observed. “Have the computers figure out which wires to use instead of making it the human’s job?” What a Concept! USB3.0-C should see adoption like wildfire. It might even replace the Lightning connector on iThings! I betcha adapters appear very quickly in any event.

    I would love to have been a fly on the wall in the meeting where Steve Jobs made it extremely clear that he would never, ever again tolerate taking two tries to get a cable plugged in correctly. I’d love to see the minutes of that published. I can only imagine that it was an absolutely EPIC RANT.

    This little bit of technology history illustrates that vigorous competition can drive development in extremely fruitful directions, but somebody has to be willing to insist that “good enough”, in fact, ain’t good enough. And having real problems that need solving is always a better motivator and existential arguments of “betterness”. Still, laurels are wonderful to receive, but resting on them is another matter. (grin)

  3. Helga de Ruijter Helga de Ruijter says:

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts Mike!

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