Acroname has this month launched its USBHub3c Lab Edition, a software-managed USB-C hub, host switch, port manager, and power-delivery tester, based on the company's previously released USBHub3c.
USBHub3c Lab Edition is geared for applications that only require standard USB-C power sourcing capabilities of USB Power Delivery (USB-PD) such as host-switching in conference room installations, mobile device test labs, USB-PD source validation testing, USB-C device production testing and end-of-line battery-charging.
As noted by the manufacturer:
USB Type-C, commonly called USB-C, promised standardized, simplified power and data delivery to all devices. Unfortunately, inconsistent feature sets across USB-C products makes USB-C systems unpredictable, confusing and frustrating to consumers.
Bringing management capability to USB-C ports and systems helps make host-switching, port monitoring and testing easier and puts USB-C back under control of system designers.
USBHub3c Lab Edition is cost optimized for lower power, 5V-only applications. Acroname’s AnyPort technology allows any of the USBHub3c ports to be host upstream connection.
The unit's rich programming API allows AV integrators and test engineers to remotely reset USB-C ports, monitor and manage USB-PD profiles, take real-time power measurements, and monitor or manage USB connectivity.
With a 10Gbps data rate capability and an optional RS-232 control interface, USBHub3c Lab Edition is perfectly positioned for USB-C host switching applications such as sharing USB peripherals in managed conference rooms.
“Data and control are essential to successful IT and AV deployments,” notes Justin Gregg, Acroname’s CEO. “The USBHub3c Lab Edition brings the telemetry and control of the Pro Edition at an affordable, scalable price."
In 2015, Acroname invented the programmable USB hub concept. Building on this concept, the USBhub3c ports can be enabled and disabled independently, and each functional signal group can be independently controlled and monitored.
Each port can also be dynamically configured for upstream or downstream data at speeds up to 10Gbps, and the USBHub3c will also report established link speed.
A patent-pending, robust and user configurable power budgeting system allows the USBHub3c to be the only bus-powered USB-C hub that supports PD sourcing and sinking. The power budgeting system also allows engineers to fine tune power sourcing when connected to high-current sink devices.
For USB-PD validation applications, the ability to automate cable “flipping” with manual interaction, edit USB-PD power data objects (PDOs), and override voltages and current limits. All programmable features are controlled with simple, robust APIs in Python, C, C++, .Net, and LabVIEW®.
“USB-C should make things easy for end-users,” Gregg concluded. “From testing, to production, to field deployment, Acroname’s USBHub3c makes USB-C easy for engineers and users.”
Boulder, Colorado-based Acroname designs, develops and distributes products for applications in automated manufacturing, AV conference rooms, embedded robotic and control systems. Founded in 1994, the company's BrainStem technology provides highly modular and scalable hardware and software tools used in OEM applications. Over 400,000 BrainStem powered devices are deployed in the field today.