TI's DockPort Solution Brings DisplayPort, USB, And Power To Single Cable

While it's obvious that innovation is on the fast-track when looking at consumer electronics as a whole, one has to wonder how long it'll take for the USB port to do more than it does. Perhaps that time has come. Texas Instruments has issued a new single-chip DockPort solution that enables DisplayPort, USB and power over a single cable. Talk about high efficiency.

The HD3SS2521 delivers audio/video (A/V), USB data and power over a single cable between a notebook, ultrabook or tablet PC and a docking station or dongle.  The HD3SS2521 enables system designers to create smaller, more affordable docking stations that connect and synchronize computers with LCD monitors, dongles, keyboard/mouse, Gigabit Ethernet, storage, audio speakers, DVD/Blu-ray media player and smartphone.
Key features and benefits of the HD3SS2521:

* Single-cable solution: Bidirectional 2:1 switch manages DockPort detection, as well as signal and power switching. It enables display, USB, power, and computer docking interface over a single cable, which allows designers to create smaller, more affordable docking stations.
* Reduced board size and BOM: Highly integrated 5-mm by 11-mm package reduces board space by one-third and BOM costs by more than 50 percent, compared to competitive implementations that provide data and A/V over a single connector.
* Power and charging delivered over cable: Bidirectional power reduces the number of connections by allowing upstream charging of host-side computers, or downstream powering of one or more dongles.
* Multiple monitor support: Operating in two-lane mode with USB 3.0 data, the HD3SS2521 supports one monitor with resolutions up to 4K2Kp at 30 frames per second (fps) and 30 bits per pixel (bpp), or multiple monitors with resolutions less than or equal to 1920 by 1200p at 60 fps. In four-lane mode with USB 2.0, it supports the following configurations: 1) one 4K2Kp at 60 fps and 30 bpp, 2) two 4K2Kp monitors at 30 fps and 30 bpp, or 3) four or more monitors with resolutions less than or equal to 1920 by 1200p at 60 fps.

System designers can extend DisplayPort reach, enable multiple video interfaces, and add more switching and USB SuperSpeed ports by combining the HD3SS2521 with other TI interface products. Hopefully, it won't be long before we see this rolled out in commercial fashion.

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