The DockPort standard is only just getting off the ground with support in AMD's Elite Performance processors. TI could soon make the technology fly, however: its new (if awkwardly named) HD3SS2521 controller handles all the tasks of DockPort on a single chip. The hardware is both simpler and cheaper than past multi-chip designs, and makes it easier for laptops and tablets to deliver DisplayPort video, USB 3.0 and power through a single cable. Whether or not we see more DockPort-equipped mobile gadgets is another matter. While the TI chip is available today, device builders still have to choose DockPort over a more established standard like Intel's Thunderbolt.
Industry's first single-chip DockPort solution enables DisplayPort, USB and power over a single cable
TI controller supports small form factor docking stations, PCs and tablets
Jul 31, 2013
DALLAS, July 31, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Texas Instruments (TI) (NASDAQ: TXN) today unveiled the industry's first single-chip DockPort interface solution. The HD3SS2521 delivers audio/video (A/V), USB data and power over a single cable between a notebook, ultrabook or tablet PC and a docking station or dongle. DockPort provides a lower cost alternative to proprietary implementations and offers more features than standard USB docking stations. The HD3SS2521 controller enables DisplayPort™, USB 3.0, USB 2.0 and power over a single interconnecting cable, and provides the control logic and automatic switching required on the cable's host side and dock side. For more information and to order samples, visit www.ti.com/hd3ss2521-pr.
The HD3SS2521 enables system designers to create smaller, more affordable docking stations that connect and synchronize computers with LCD monitors, dongles, keyboard/mouse, Gigabit Ethernet, storage, audio speakers, DVD/Blu-ray media player and smartphone.
Key features and benefits of the HD3SS2521:
* Single-cable solution: Bidirectional 2:1 switch manages DockPort detection, as well as signal and power switching. It enables display, USB, power, and computer docking interface over a single cable, which allows designers to create smaller, more affordable docking stations.
* Reduced board size and BOM: Highly integrated 5-mm by 11-mm package reduces board space by one-third and BOM costs by more than 50 percent, compared to competitive implementations that provide data and A/V over a single connector.
* Power and charging delivered over cable: Bidirectional power reduces the number of connections by allowing upstream charging of host-side computers, or downstream powering of one or more dongles.
* Multiple monitor support: Operating in two-lane mode with USB 3.0 data, the HD3SS2521 supports one monitor with resolutions up to 4K2Kp at 30 frames per second (fps) and 30 bits per pixel (bpp), or multiple monitors with resolutions less than or equal to 1920 by 1200p at 60 fps. In four-lane mode with USB 2.0, it supports the following configurations: 1) one 4K2Kp at 60 fps and 30 bpp, 2) two 4K2Kp monitors at 30 fps and 30 bpp, or 3) four or more monitors with resolutions less than or equal to 1920 by 1200p at 60 fps.
System designers can extend DisplayPort reach, enable multiple video interfaces, and add more switching and USB SuperSpeed ports by combining the HD3SS2521 with other TI interface products. Complementary products include the SN75DP130 DisplayPort 1:2 redriver switch, SN75DP126 DisplayPort 1:2 redriver switch, SN75DP139 DisplayPort to TMDS translator, HD3SS212 DisplayPort 1.2 2-to-1 differential switch, TUSB8040A1 four-port USB 3.0 hub, and HD3SS3412 four-channel differential switch.
Tools and support
A reference host side evaluation module (EVM) and dock side EVM are available to accelerate DockPort system development. The HD3SS2521 HSPICE model is also available to verify host and dock signal integrity.
Engineers designing with this DockPort solution can ask questions and get answers from TI experts in the TI E2E™ Community Consumer & Computing Forum.
Availability, packaging and pricing
The HD3SS2521 is available today in a 56-pin WQFN package for a suggested retail price of US$1.85 in 1,000-unit quantities.