Acroname Announces First Programmable USB Type-C Switch

August 8 2017, 04:00
Acroname, a leading producer of embedded automation and manufacturing test platforms, has announced the launch of the USB-C-Switch, a 4-channel, programmable, USB 3.2 multiplexing switch, optimized for USB Type-C applications in manufacturing and development environments. “With USB-C-Switch in Acroname’s product family, test engineers will now have tools to manage the very latest features of USB,” the company says.

Boulder-based Acroname designs, develops and distributes products for applications in automated manufacturing, embedded robotic and control systems. Founded in 1994, Acroname's BrainStem technology provides highly modular and scalable hardware and software tools used in OEM applications around the world. Over 400,000 BrainStem devices are deployed today testing some of the world's largest volume consumer products.

“Type-C represents a new set of challenges for test engineers. In particular, the reversible plug orientation makes test automation difficult. As manufacturing test engineers ourselves, we understand that automated testing of USB Type-C functions will help our customers lower the cost of test for their next-generation products. With the USB-C-Switch, Acroname continues to advance the tools available to manufacturing engineers for USB test automation,” says Acroname CEO, Justin Gregg.

The USB-C-Switch allows engineers to programmatically select one of 4 available USB ports to conduct hot-plug and un-plug operations, enable and disable individual ports, monitor current and voltage and automate connector orientation flip operations. Advanced USB Type-C features are supported; including USB Power Delivery (USB-PD), Alternate Modes such as DisplayPort and HDMI, and Apple CarPlay and Android automotive protocols. 

The USB-C-Switch is bi-directional, allowing it to be used in 1:4 or 4:1 configurations. Keep-alive charging is available to sustain battery-powered devices when they are not selected. Acroname’s flexible BrainStem technology and elegant APIs in C ,C++, Python and LabVIEW control the USB-C-Switch, and a simple cross-platform GUI application is provided. Designed by manufacturing engineers, the USB-C-Switch addresses reliability concerns for manufacturing environments, such as withstanding up to ±15kV ESD strikes.

“The USB-C-Switch complements Acroname’s programmable USB hub products, providing a full solution suite for customers who need to quickly and simply automate USB switching and port handling functions,” says Lance Davies, Director of Sales for Acroname. “With USB-C-Switch in Acroname’s product family, test engineers will now have tools to manage the very latest features of USB.”
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