First programmable USB Type-C switch for manufacturing and test

August 09, 2017 // By Nick Flaherty
Acroname has launched a 4-channel, programmable, USB 3.2 multiplexing switch optimised for USB Type-C applications in manufacturing and development environments.

The USB-C-Switch allows engineers to programmatically select one of 4 available USB ports to conduct hot-plug and un-plug operations, enable and disable individual ports, monitor current and voltage and automate connector orientation flip operations. Advanced USB Type-C features are supported, including USB Power Delivery (USB-PD), Alternate Modes such as DisplayPort and HDMI, and Apple CarPlay and Android automotive protocols.

"Type-C represents a new set of challenges for test engineers. In particular, the reversible plug orientation makes test automation difficult. As manufacturing test engineers ourselves, we understand that automated testing of USB Type-C functions will help our customers lower the cost of test for their next-generation products. With the USB-C-Switch, Acroname continues to advance the tools available to manufacturing engineers for USB test automation," said Justin Gregg, CEO of Boulder, Colorado-based Acroname.

The USB-C-Switch is bi-directional, allowing it to be used in 1:4 or 4:1 configurations. Keep-alive charging is available to sustain battery-powered devices when they are not selected. Acroname's flexible BrainStem technology and APIs in C ,C++, Python and LabVIEW control the switch, and a simple cross-platform GUI application is provided. Designed by manufacturing engineers, the USB-C-Switch addresses reliability concerns for manufacturing environments, such as withstanding up to ±15kV ESD strikes.

"The USB-C-Switch complements Acroname’s programmable USB hub products, providing a full solution suite for customers who need to quickly and simply automate USB switching and port handling functions," said Lance Davies, Director of Sales for Acroname. "With USB-C-Switch in Acroname’s product family, test engineers will now have tools to manage the very latest features of USB."


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