To USB or Not to USB


Synopsys announces the first USB 3.1 Type C and DisplayPort 1.3 Transmit with HDCP 2.2 IP solution

Synopsys announces the universe’s first and only USB 3.1 Type C and DisplayPort 1.3 Transmit with HDCP 2.2 IP solution.

Yeah, that’s a lot of words.

Before I break it down, let’s explain the basics.

If you had a PC, Phone, or Tablet with a USB 3.1 Type C with DisplayPort 1.3 connector on it, and support for HDCP 2.2, you could connect that directly to an UltraHD monitor (or a projector) with a DisplayPort 1.3 receiver (no USB) and play your UltraHD content at up to 8K x 4K resolution.    In this case, the USB pins wouldn’t be used.

In another case, both USB and DP paths can be used.   The USB Type C connector allows for independent transmission of USB and DisplayPort video at the same time.  The DisplayPort is enabled through a set of independent signals, in “Alternate Mode” or “Alt Mode”   So what you can do, is use your super powerful smart phone with a Type C connector, connect it to a docking station (or directly to a monitor), using Type C, and the video will go across using the DisplayPort lines to a connected monitor.  Data will flow through the USB lines to your full sized keyboard, mouse, attached hard drive, and other devices.  Finally, you can use your smart phone with your full sized accessories for full productivity.  The exact same docking station could be used with a ultrathin laptop or a tablet using a Type C connector.

You can see in the diagram below, the pins available for Alt Mode.  In the case of USB and DP simultaneous use, one row (for this example) would use the A pins for USB, and the a pair on the B row for DP.

USB Type C Pins Available

Let’s break down the IP offering.

USB 3.1 / DP 1.3 PHY – We have a world’s first USB 3.1 Type-C / DisplayPort 1.3 Type C combo PHY. It supports both USB and has the lanes to support DisplayPort   At 10 Gbps it supports the fastest USB standard to date AND it supports DisplayPort HBR 3, or 8.1 Gbps transfers for HD up to maximum resolution of 8K x 4K at 24 bits per pixel with a 60 GHz refresh rate at a 4:2:0 format.


USB 3.1 – We have the USB 3.1 digital controllers, including Dual Role Device, Host, and Device controller.  These are the first IP controllers announced and available to the industry.

DisplayPort 1.3 Transmit (TX) – This enables transmission of DP content alongside the USB 3.1 digital controller.  It matches the PHY and supports up to HBR 3.

HDCP 2.2 Embedded Security Module (ESM) – This module provides the authentication and encryption for content protection over a cable. In this case, DisplayPort requires HDCP 2.2 for premium, DRM video content.

VIP – Both USB 3.1 and DP Verification are available and shipping for integration testing and verification

We also provide IP Subsystems, IP Prototyping Systems, and IP Virtualizer Development Kits to speed development.  These save weeks and months of engineering effort.

We’ve designed this all to work together as you would expect, so companies can keep coming to Synopsys for all their USB needs.

Read the full press release and links to our webpages here

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Frozen Pants

I thought about this announcement a lot while I was in Minnesota last week, when Minnesota made the news for being the coldest of the cold states and you can sculpt frozen pants



Please note that if you google the term “frozen pants” for images, you get a lot of pictures of Disney themed pajamas.

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