STMicroelectronics’ Port-Protection IC for STM32 MCUs Tailored to USB-C Dual-Role Power

By Taryn Engmark

Assistant Editor

Embedded Computing Design

November 09, 2021


STMicroelectronics’ Port-Protection IC for STM32 MCUs Tailored to USB-C Dual-Role Power

The STMicroelectronics TCPP03-M20 USB Type-C port-protection IC simplifies the design of products that can act as a power source for connected devices as well as accept power from other USB-C sources.

When used as a companion chip with STM32G0*, STM32G4, STM32L5, and STM32U5 microcontrollers that contain ST’s UCPD (USB Type-C and Power Delivery) interface IP, the TCPP03-M20 enables a cost-effective partitioning of the USB Type-C implementation. Product designers can achieve a two-chip solution with the STM32 as the host microcontroller, saving bill-of-materials costs, PCB space, and circuit complexity.

As defined in the USB Type-C specification, a USB-C dual role device — such as smart speaker, smartphone, tablet, laptop, or camera — can dynamically change its power role from sink to source as well as their USB data role from device to host (and vice-versa). This enables new use-cases to preserve and share energy between battery-powered devices, as well as to extend device interoperability. The USB DRP capability defined in the Type-C specification allows any USB devices with the ST chip inside to charge the battery of a connected device.

The TCPP03-M20 is built with ST’s BCD process, recently accredited as an IEEE Milestone, to combine logic and high-voltage circuitry on the same chip, enhancing integration and reliability. The technology enables ±8kV ESD protection (IEC61000-4-2 Level 4), over-voltage, and over-current protection to be implemented on the same chip. These are needed to guard against unintended short-circuits or connection of defective equipment and to comply with the USB-C Power Delivery specification.

The chip integrates switches for the USB-C port VCONN and CC lines, a charge pump with two N-channel MOSFET gate drivers for Source and Sink power path, VBUS and VCONN power-path discharge circuitry, and dead-battery management.

Standalone Power Sink and Power Source applications are handled using ST’s TCPP01-M12 and TCPP02-M18 BCD ICs, respectively. Like all ST’s TCPP products, the TCPP03-M20 is compliant with the latest features of the USB-C PD specification 3.1 Standard Power Range, including Programmable Power Supply.

For more information, visit STMicroelectronics.