NXP adds security and authentication to USB Type-C offering

July 24, 2015 // By Graham Prophet
NXP Semiconductors claims the “most complete” USB Type-C solution, having incorporated authentication and power delivery capabilities to further deliver secure connections.

The authentication capabilities can be used to validate a device and determine whether specific functionality of that device should be enabled. This will maximise battery life and could prevent safety hazards or equipment damage from low quality materials or non-compliant products. For example, detecting counterfeit power supplies before they are used for rapid charging functions.

USB Type-C connectors are widely seen at the forthcoming default connector standard, and makers of all elements of the connectivity system report it as being on track to be the one of the fastest-ever-adopted standards. It combines the ability to deliver [up to] 10 Gbit/sec data and [up to] 100W, with backward compatibility with prior USB variants, while the Type-C connector itself is reversible for user convenience. watts of power, the USB Type-C connector and cable technology supports the growing demands of computing, mobile, and consumer products. NXP comments,

“This innovation offers consumers a secure plug ’n’ play experience to transfer data and video on their devices while rapidly charging them at the same time. As an industry leader in security, NXP has added authentication to USB Type-C to help customers better protect their devices and improve the reliability, security, and safety of the USB Type-C ecosystem.”

Improving upon the previous Type-A and Type-B USB connectors, the Type-C connector is far more user-friendly, offering reversible plug orientation, cable direction and the ability to transfer power and data simultaneously as well as support different protocols, such as DisplayPort, MHL, and Thunderbolt for alternate modes. The bi-directional power flow support allows a device to either source or sink power. Type-C connectors offer scalable power solutions, ranging from 5.0V at 0.5A for handheld devices up to 20V at 5.0A for rapid charging and power delivery.

NXP offers a USB Type-C ecosystem that includes microcontrollers, high speed switches, USB3 drivers, ESD protection and filtering devices, USB PD PHY, CC logic controllers, authentication, load switches, AC/DC power solutions, and MOSFETs.