SuperSpeed certified USB3 controller hubs is world's first with on-chip programmable memory

July 22, 2013 // By Paul Buckley
Microchip Technology Inc. has released the company's third-generation USB3 Controller Hubs (UCH3s) - the four-member USB553XB-5000 family, which is SuperSpeed Logo Certified by the USB Implementers Forum and claims to be the world’s first to integrate OTP Flash configuration memory.

The UCH3 family is also the industry’s most flexible, as it includes a seven-port hybrid version with a certified four-port USB3 hub and three additional USB2 lanes.  The remaining three family members feature two-, three- and four-port USB3 hubs, respectively, providing a broad migration path for the designers of PCs, peripherals, computing platforms, storage solutions, networking and consumer devices, set-top boxes, docking stations and monitors.

The designers of computing and peripheral platforms are adopting the USB3 standard for its increased bandwidth of 5 Gbps and higher-power charging ports.  To address market pricing, delivery and differentiation pressures, designers need USB3 controller hubs with a high degree of flexibility and integration.  Microchip’s new UCH3 family lowers system costs and speeds development by integrating programmable memory that allows OEMs to quickly customize their products and ensure operating-system compatibility, without the added cost, complexity and board space of off-chip memory.  Additionally, the hybrid controller provides the flexibility to create applications with both USB3 and USB2 ports, such as mobile and PC docking stations, monitors and other peripherals.  The availability of two-, three- and four-port USB3 family members enables designers to easily migrate to the best UCH3 for each design within their platform.
 
The programmable USB3 controller hub family is the latest to be supported by Microchip’s ProTouch hub configuration software tool, which is available today for free download from http://www.microchip.com/get/ASDL.  ProTouch software makes it easy to generate configuration settings and program the UCH3’s internal OTP Flash, or any external SPI Flash.

On the hardware side, Microchip is also announcing two new evaluation boards to support this family.  EVB-USB5537B is available for $399, and supports the seven-port USB5537B-5000 hybrid controller hub with four USB3 connectors and three additional USB2 connectors.  EVB-USB5534BC is also available now for $399, and supports the development of four-port USB3 applications, along with battery charging.

Availability and Pricing

All four members of Microchip’s third-generation USB3 Controller Hub Family are