To USB or Not to USB


USB Type-C to replace the 3.5mm head phone jack & introducing USB-IF certified USB-C chargers

During IDF 2016 there was a lot of buzz around USB Type-C. Two of the hot topics were USB Type-C for audio and the announcement by the USB-IF to offer certification for Type-C chargers. Also, Synopsys demonstrated our USB-IF Certified 3.1 Gen 2 (10 Gb/s) host and device solution. Below is a picture of a video shoot from the show, we will publish the videos we shot in a couple of weeks.

Hi from IDF 2016

So lets first talk about USB Type-C and the 3.5mm audio jack. There has been some recent press on the possibility that USB Type-C will replace the 3.5mm audio jack completely. My own opinion is that this is the right time to make the switch. There are a couple of reason but one is that most products are pushing to get slimmer and slimmer, smaller and smaller and they just can’t tolerate multiple connectors. Using a slim, small Type-C for power, audio, display and more just makes perfect sense. Added to this the new USB Audio Standard, which is not public yet but Synopsys has access to, forces improved power management lowering power consumption when using USB for Audio making it a net zero vs. the classic 3.5mm audio jack solution. The bonus to product developers is that when using USB Type-C for audio the component count thus bill of material will be reduced. This either means cheaper products or larger margins. We are seeing and servicing many new design starts in this area as the race to deliver products leveraging audio across USB Type-C heats up. What do you think about audio moving to USB Type-C? Post a comment below and voice your opinion.

The other USB Type-C excitement is that the USB-IF has announced a New Certified USB Charger Logo and Compliance Program Based upon the USB Type-C™ and USB Power Delivery specifications, Certified USB Chargers will display a new logo identifying the power capability in watts


– USB-IF establishes a new Certified USB Charger Logo and Compliance Program based upon the USB Type-Cand USB Power Delivery specifications.

– Certified USB Chargers will resemble a traditional power brick or wall wart, provide faster charging and be interoperable with compliant USB Type-C™ products.

– Consumers are reminded to purchase compliant USB products from trusted sources that display USB-IF certified logos on packaging, in product briefs or on the cable or device itself.

This is really good for consumers as it takes the guess work out of picking a Type-C charger for their needs. Certified charger is a sign of quality and reliability and should be a requirement to purchase. The Synopsys DesignWare USB IP solution is fully certified. In fact, our DesignWare USB 3.1 Gen 2 (10 Gb/s) solution was the first IP solution to be USB-IF certified. At the time of this blog, we were still the only certified IP solution. But don’t just take my word for it, read what I and other companies say about the challenges of 3.1 Gen2 design in this EEcatalog article.

Off topic, can you guess what I am going build out of this pile of components?


Post a comment below with your guesses!

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