First Programmable USB Type-C hub for USB-PD Debug, Validation



USB Type-C, commonly called USB-C, promised standardized power and data delivery. Unfortunately, poorly tested devices in the market make USB-C systems unpredictable, expensive, and frustrating to consumers. Improving USB-C testing is critical to delivering on the “one connector to rule them all” promise of USB-C.

Acroname announces the USBHub3c: the world’s first and only programmable USB-C hub, Power Delivery analyzer, and tester. It is designed specifically for mobile device test labs, USB-PD validation testing, USB-C device production testing, end-of-line battery-charging, and for testing dual role data (DRD) and dual role power (DRP) devices.

USBHub3c is fully programmable, so engineers can control USB-PD profiles, real-time measurements, and USB connectivity. And it’s the only USB-C hub with AnyPort which allows all ports to be fully functional, 100W capable, upstream (UFP) or downstream (DFP) ports.

“We built the Acroname USBHub3c to be the most capable and reliable USB hub in the world. We then bolted on the advanced power-delivery analyzer and debug and validation tools,” said Justin Gregg, Acroname’s chief executive officer. “It is optimized for manufacturing and validation environments. And it is the perfect solution to mitigate overcharging in large mobile device test labs.”

In 2015, Acroname invented the programmable USB hub concept. Building on top of this concept, the USBhub3c ports can be enabled and disabled independently, and each functional signal group can be independently controlled. 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 robust and user-programmable power budgeting system allows the USBHub3c to be the only bus-powered USB hub that supports PD sourcing. 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.

“Our vision was to create a USB-C hub that made automated testing easier, predictable, safer, and cheaper than anything on the market,” Gregg said. “Our talented engineering team was successful. Life just got easier for test engineers working with USB-C devices.”

For more information, visit Acroname.