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SmartHub IC

A SmartHub IC is a USB hub that integrates system-level functions typically associated with a separate MCU or processor.

Importance of SmartHub Capabilities

  • Expands functionality beyond traditional hubs
  • BOM savings through integration of functionality
  • Simplifies hardware design
  • Provides flexibility to Host to configure as needed
smarthub-word-collage

Other SmartHub Functions

  • One Time Programmable (OTP) memory for customization of SmartHub IC ports
  • ProTouch2 programming tool for setting the SmartHub IC configuration or programming SmartHub IC on manufacturing line
  • Configuration Straps are available to give customers additional flexibility to configure the SmartHub IC and avoid programming entirely
smarthub-architecture

Two Key Features


Bridging over USB for I/O Expansion

  • Host has the ability to communicate to a non-USB peripheral over USB through a simple set of APIs
    • I2C, SMBus, SPI, UART, GPIO
  • Saves system designer the added expense of using a separate bridging IC to manage the non USB peripheral
  • Also saves having to use a downstream USB port to interface to the bridging IC
 

Dynamic Host Switching

  • System can be configured to switch between two USB Hosts
  • Switch can be enabled through a GPIO pin, a USB Host command or through preboot configuration code
  • Remaining downstream device will re-enumerate with new Host once switch has been made
  • Saves system designer the added expense of using a separate 2:1 Switch external to the hub
  • Also simplifies implementation through dedicated GPIO pins or by setting registers or using of custom APIs