To USB or Not to USB

 

USB Type-C is Here – Are You Ready?

Dozens of products are now shipping with the USB Type-C connector, making it the fastest adopted USB-IF standard and likely to be in your next USB-enabled SoC. Read on to learn about implementing USB 3.1 and USB Type-C in SoCs and how DesignWare® USB IP can help you get your products to market faster.

Type-C-MontageIndustry News: USB Type-C is the Only Way to Access Sandisk’s Speedy New Pen Drive (digitaltrends.com) SanDisk, like many other storage manufacturers out there, sees the writing on the wall: people really like USB Type-C.

More News: More good news for USB Type-C adoption is that Amazon has added faulty USB-C cables to a list of banned items: http://www.cnet.com/news/amazon-threatens-to-banish-anyone-selling-dodgy-usb-c-cables/ There are serious repercussion for vendors caught selling bad cables.

Q&A: What’s Behind the Blazingly Fast Adoption of USB Type-C? (Electronic Design) The USB 3.1 Type-C connector is having a major impact on system design because of its flexibility. Its high-speed interface support brings design challenges along with advanced features and high throughput.

Technical Article: Implementing USB Type-C in High-Speed USB Products Many of the initial products using the Type-C connector run at the USB high-speed rate of 480 Mbps. This article will help designers who plan to convert existing high-speed USB products to support USB Type-C.

White Paper: Addressing Three Critical Challenges of USB Type-C Implementation

On-Demand Webinar: Designing SoCs for USB Type-C Products

Press Releases:

Finally another article on Amazon clamping down on dodgy USB-C cables: http://www.androidpolice.com/2016/03/29/amazon-updates-its-policies-to-ban-usb-type-c-cables-that-are-not-fully-spec-compliant/ The new text under prohibited items reads as follows.

Any USB-C™ (or USB Type-C™) cable or adapter product that is not compliant with standard specifications issued by “USB Implementers Forum Inc

Great going Amazon, this will help USB consumers as USB Type-C increases in adoption.

USB Type-C: Don’t Hesitate, Integrate

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As some of you know I am a bit of a maker, as in I like to build things. Past projects include remote controlled tracked vehicles with full suspension, crane and conveyor belt toys as well as multiple old school gaming consoles. Well recently I visited OMSI and played with a Van De Graaff Generator, VDG for short. It was fun so I thought I should build one at home as a science project. Here is the end result of prototype #1

Mick's home build Van de Graaff Generator

It took me about 10 hours to complete the project and for a first attempt it works pretty well with the ability to generate between 1-2 inch sparks.

Here is a very short video of the Van de Graaff Generator in action: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WOS-ZD93CQs (also embedded below) Watch in HD as the spark jumps very quickly and you will miss it if you blink.

This weekend I plan to start on revision 2 of the design. The rubber belt on prototype #1 is reducing the efficiency of the generator. I found some better belt material but it requires almost a complete re-build of the VDG’s innards. If successful I am hoping for 2-3 inch size sparks from the unit and a far more hair raising experience 🙂 Oh and you probably don’t want to mix electronics with a VDG….

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