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My docking station with the rat’s nest of wires dangling from behind it could be going the way of the Dodo bird soon, thanks to USB Power Delivery (PD) protocols and USB Type-C connectors.
The traditional docking station that we all know and hate, typically looks something like the picture below.
This is a photo of my docking station at work. These docking stations have 3 main problems:
But USB Power Delivery (PD) protocols and USB Type-C connectors are going to change the game drastically on this front in the near future.
The ability of USB Power Delivery (PD) 2.0 and 3.0 to deliver power up to 100W, along with the bi-directional nature of power delivery makes for some interesting possibilities as mentioned in the leading sentence of this blog. USB PD, in combination with USB DisplayPort 1.3 Alt mode and the USB Type-C 1.2 connector provides a compact, integrated replacement solution to the multiple wires that are required in a docking station. The display monitor in a docking station can be connected to the main power source, and can in turn, have a single wire deliver power to the PC, while receiving video data across the same wire from the PC, via a USB Type-C connector. The result is a docking wire, instead of a docking station, and is the last cable anyone will ever need.
Building a USB Type-C System on a Chip solution that includes USB Power Delivery, USB3.1 and is in compliance to IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission) and USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF) will prove to be extremely challenging. Having an IP partner will help you secure and stabilize your design and silicon in a very reliable and timely manner. Cadence has a comprehensive solution for USB 3.1, 3.0, 2.0, and USB Type-C 1.2. Our VIP for USB PD 2.0 with Type-C is now available for customers. Cadence has developed a proven VIP product solution serving hundreds of customers across thousands of designs and supports multiple languages, simulators and methodologies
My desk configuration at work allows me to switch my work surface between sitting and standing positions. While I was excited about this idea initially, managing the wires that go between my monitor to the docking station on the side every time the level is changed has been such a hassle, that I find myself not using this feature at all. Personally, the ‘docking wire’ solution can’t get to market soon enough!
More information on the Cadence IP solution for USB Type-C is available here.