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Maxim's USB Emulator Consolidates In-Car Device Charging

11/5/2013 04:35 PM EST
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jvn01
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USB connector lifetime
jvn01   11/6/2013 11:57:52 AM
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An additional consideration is that USB connectors are not particularly robust after multiple insertions, especially considering that in-car use often results in wires being pulled around and snagged. I would be concerned to see USB ports integrated into dashboards without any simple way to replace them once they are damaged/worn out...

chanj0
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USB Port is a nice to have
chanj0   11/6/2013 12:10:39 PM
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Most of the new models today usually come with 1 USB port in addition to how many 12V cigarette lighters the car has equipped (1 or 2). The cigarette lighter has been around for too long that there are quite a number of gadgets is powered by it. To me, it would make no sense to remove it.

USB port is a nice to have in my opinion. There are quite a number of cigarette lighter to USB gadget. I believe they are already doing their job properly. Adding a USB charging port sounds a good idea but it is not necessary. I would rather have 2 cigarette lighters, 1 in the front while 1 in the back.

USB has power budget negiotiation. A 5 years old in car USB power adaptor probably won't charge today's smartphone. Maxim is on the right direction. Yet, I don't quite understand challenges of in car USB charging. Maybe, there are more challenges in an electric car than in a gasoline car that is draining battery power from a lead-acid battery. :-?

Wobbly
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Re: USB connector lifetime
Wobbly   11/6/2013 1:41:39 PM
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I agree. They need a USB adapter-adapter. Today, we have that in the 12v outlet to USB adapters, with all the electronics built in.

Others raised the question, but I'll repeat it here. Is that model really broken?

 

If you are going to bury the smart USB charging into the car, you better have a module that just provides the electrical interface and can be replaced without disassembling the dash board, because the USB ports are going to fail over time.

I have only had one USB port failure on a laptop, and it saw far gentler use in life than a typical USB 'outlet' is going to see inside a car.

Bert22306
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CEO
Cars last longer than USB power standards
Bert22306   11/6/2013 4:30:50 PM
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The existing cigarrette lighter format is not bad, for high current and 12V needs. It's got a lot of good surface area, compoared with USB, plus it's also sturdy. Even though a more purpose-designed 12V connector might be more compact, if it didn't have this cigarrette lighting mission in life.

Also, this USB power standard keeps changing, and it looks like they want to change some more in the near future. So I don't think it's such a great idea to embed the standard in cars, unless the USB power smarts can easily be upgraded.

This reminds me a bit of the OnStar and similar telematics schemes. When analog cellular went off the air in 2008, in the US, a lot of cars were left without this feature. The basic message from the auto companies was, if you want to retain that feature, feel free to visit one of our showrooms and buy a new car. Even though in principle, since these systems were all quite modular in design, a new cellular standard COULD have been accommodated with a mere module swap. At least, accommodated for the same set of features offered in the analog cellular days, if not supporting all the latest bells and whistles.

When there's a will, there's a way. The problem is, there isn't a will all too often.

Caleb Kraft
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Re: Cars last longer than USB power standards
Caleb Kraft   11/6/2013 5:03:50 PM
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good points all around.

Caleb Kraft
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Re: Cars last longer than USB power standards
Caleb Kraft   11/6/2013 5:04:06 PM
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good points all around.

Sanjib.A
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CEO
But the phone circuit is not automotive grade!!
Sanjib.A   11/30/2013 10:20:14 AM
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Good to see that the MAX 16984 chip can survive +/-8 KV ESD (direct contact)...but what is the point here since the phone circuit might not be capable of handling the same level of disturbances? I believe the phone circuits are not designed to automotive standards. So what makes a difference here?

 

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