Spectra7 Announces "Active-C” Chips for Ultra-Thin Type-C Interconnects
Spectra7 Announces “Embedded Chips Dramatically Reduce Cable and Connector Thickness for Consumer Electronic Products
March 5, 2015 - Palo Alto, CA and Toronto, ON – (TSX-V:SEV) Spectra7 Microsystems Inc. (“Spectra7” or the “Company”) today announced the industry’s first active chipset family for ultra thin implementations of USB 3.1 consumer interconnects – the TC7108, TC7216 and the TC7050. Applications for this interconnect implemented with the new Type-C connector include ultra-thin laptops, tablets, mobile devices, solid state disks and wearable computing devices. The resulting ultra thin cable enabled by this new Spectra7 technology allows the cable to transfer data at supercomputer speeds with a plug shell or overmold and cable strain relief dimension that is thinner than the mobile device itself – a critical dimension when implementing Type-C in tablets and smart phones.
The USB Type-C specification calls for data transfer rates of up to 40Gbps (80 times faster than a USB2.0 or Lightning connection) in the new miniature “Type-C” connector which measures just 8.55mm by 2.75mm. These dimensions yield a connector area that is approximately 65% smaller than the USB Standard Type A connector, and only 1.60mm wider than the USB 2.0 MicroB and Lightning connectors.
Spectra7’s ultra-low power signal processing technology restores the signal from ultra-thin cable conductors while embedded in the Type-C cable connector for optimal performance and smallest form factor, while supporting multiple link protocols including DisplayPort digital video and USB SuperSpeed data, all while reducing the cross-sectional area of the copper conductors by up to 90% when compared to traditional passive cables. Spectra7’s TC7108 chip delivers two channels of DisplayPort HBR2 at 5.4Gbps each (10.8Gbps in total), while the TC7216 delivers four channels (21.6Gbps in total). The TC7050 delivers USB 3.1 Gen 1 data at 5.0Gbps. The TC7108 and TC7050 can be used together to build bidirectional links for ultra-thin high definition external displays and dynamic interfaces for wearable technology. Similarly, multiple TC7050 devices can be used to enable parallel high speed data channels in a single cable.
The USB Implementers Forum predicts there will be 2.1 billion USB 3.0 and 3.1 (formerly known as SuperSpeed USB and SuperSpeed Plus USB) enabled devices in 2016, up 207% from 2014 shipments of 684 million units. According to a recent report from Strategy Analytics, 12% of mobile handsets will feature Type-C connectors by 2016. “USB 3.1 and Type-C momentum is strong based on its industry leader endorsements, a clear track record of deployment, speed and size”, said Tony Stelliga, Chief Executive Officer of Spectra7. “Our new family of chips complement the Company’s value premise with cable conductors that are up to 90% thinner than traditional passive implementations - making cables significantly more mobile friendly and aesthetically pleasing to consumers - while reducing the bill of materials for manufacturers. This new chipset family is another great example of Spectra7 using its core analog design and algorithm expertise to improve the performance and industrial design of mass market consumer products”.
The TC7108, TC7216 and TC7050 are currently sampling to Spectra7’s Active Cable Partners.
ABOUT SPECTRA7 MICROSYSTEMS INC.
Spectra7 Microsystems Inc. is a high performance analog semiconductor company delivering unprecedented speed, resolution and signal fidelity that enables ultra-light, high-speed, micro-thin interconnects which enable new classes of industrial design for market-leading consumer electronic products including Virtual Reality, Wearable Computing Ultra-HD 4K/8K Displays and Tablets. Spectra7 is headquartered in Markham, Ontario with development centers in Silicon Valley, California and Cork, Ireland.
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