Sunday, 21 Oct 2018

The first programmable USB Type-C switch

Yesterday, we were pleased to see the announcement by Acroname, in regards to their newly released programmable USB Type C switch. The name covers it all: it’s a 4 port programmable USB Type C switch, ready for USB 3.2.

Acroname has developed the programmable switch to make it easier for developers to test USB-C features, like power delivery, hot-plug and un-plug, etc. From their press release:

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. 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 elegant APIs in C, C++, Python and LabVIEW™ control the USB-C-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.

We at USB-C Today are happy to see such a device, and, if we can get our hands on it, we’re more than happy to give a thorough review of the switch. Having a long history in software development ourself, we’re most excited to see the inclusion of the more accessible Python and C API’s, allowing developers to focus on the customer value instead of technical distractions.