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USB Type-C opens doors for embedded system connectivity

USB Type-C opens doors for embedded system connectivity
by Rajaram Regupathy on 11-24-2015 at 7:00 am

Every now and then there is an innovation or advancement that changes the way we operate, the way the world operates. These innovations and advancements in technology creates opportunities for the businesses and provides improved features to the consumers. They are also widely and swiftly adopted. USB Type-C is one such technology advancement that will soon be found in most devices. Apple and Google have taken the lead, and many more are following suit. USB Type-C will see its way into many industries and applications. Why USB Type-C? USB Type-C provides more power, user friendliness and better connectivity supporting multiple functionalities.

This article explores a few markets and applications in which USB Type-C can be integrated (An extract from the book ‘Exploring USB Type-C Ecosystem’).

Outdoor activity is an industry by itself. And is very diverse too. Jogging through the streets, surfing on the coast, skiing on the icy slopes, camping in the forest, cycling through the mountains are a few examples of the outdoor activity. The number of outdoor enthusiasts are increasing year on year. Reports indicate turn over in billions of dollars in the US alone. Improvements in user experience in the outdoor equipment ecosystem will boost the industry’s growth. Following Figure-1 provides an illustrative representation of a possible outdoor ecosystem that can integrate USB Type-C.

Figure 1: An outdoor ecosystem that can integrate USB Type-C

Solar Panel is one of the outdoor equipment that can integrate USB Type-C
In an outdoor environment portable devices can be handy and here we talk about two such devices, a portable microwave and a portable refrigerator. In an outdoor environment efficient power management and conservation is essential and can be achieved by USB Type-C ecosystem. With power of up to 100 watts, USB Type-C can now power a portable refrigerator or a microwave using a solar panel. The solar panel connects to a battery pack, which in turn powers the portable refrigerator. All of these are connected using USB Type-C. The following Figure-2 illustrates this setup.

Now this setup brings out an opportunity for battery pack manufacturers. They can provide USB Type-C/PD as a power interface to efficiently share available power with other connected devices by monitoring device states and negotiate for low power

Figure 2: An outdoor ecosystem that can integrate USB Type-C


Electronic devices in an office setup revolve around the personal computers, laptops and mobile computing devices. The combined market share of these devices is more than half of the total market share of all electronic devices. Market leaders have started adopting the USB Type-C specification. With the key computing devices adopting this new connector, accessories in the ecosystem should also take advantage of the new connector to bring in improved efficiency and better user experience. Following Figure-3 provides an illustrative representation of a possible office ecosystem that can integrate USB Type-C

Figure 3: Office ecosystem with USB Type-C

Projector is one of the office equipment that can integrate USB Type-C

Handheld mobile devices are getting powerful and are being widely used even in workplaces. Some workplaces provide tablet computers to their employees for ease of mobility. These devices bring in additional storage space through cloud. Therefore data can be managed over cloud and from anywhere. Projecting the stored data using a mobile device is not presently possible. Currently one needs to use a laptop or PC. USB Type-C can solve this problem. Once integrated to the mobile device, USB Type-C, can overcome this by directly connecting to a projector as illustrated in the fFgure-4 below.

Figure-4: A USB Type-C mobile device connected to the projector with USB Type-C

This article explored a few examples of markets and applications that can integrate USB Type-C. USB Type-C can open doors for embedded system connectivity. The scope and opportunity is immense. The coming months will see many more USB Type-C enabled devices. A detailed analysis of the markets and applications of USB Type-C is available in the book ‘Exploring USB Type-C Ecosystem’:

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