Programmable USB Hub controls data and voltage

July 03, 2019 //By Wisse Hettinga
Programmable USB Hub controls data and voltage
A USB hub with per-port power and data disconnects + dev board + I2C, GPIO, and SPI bridges - now on

You can have a USB hub in all sizes and formats, but the hub that is presented now on will give you the ultimate control over both data and voltage of your USB devices. 

The hub, also part of the ‘Microchip Get Launched 2019' design competition is launched by Capable Robot Components. 

The Programmable USB Hub is open source. You can use MIT-licensed Python drivers to control and monitor your USB Hub the way you want to. The Hub can be easily integrated into hardware-in-the-loop (HITL) test systems and its’ in-built IO expansion allows the Hub itself to control or stimulate the Device Under Test (DUT). You can also automate testing of embedded USB devices - simulating USB unplug events and unexpected loss of USB power. Use the upstream USB port or the MCU USB port to control and monitor the USB hub.

The Programmable USB hub is housed in a robust extruded aluminum enclosure. 

Internally mounted LED light pipes direct status information from 10 RGB LEDs to the front panel for easy observation of hub state.

The rear of the enclosure exposes the upstream USB connection and a USB port to re-program and communicate with the internal MCU. Also exposed are two I2C buses (via Sparkfun Qwiic connectors), the Programmable USB hub’s UART, and 2x GPIO. Input power is provided to the hub by a locking Molex connector.

Features and Specifications

  • USB2 High-Speed Hub
  • 4x USB2 High Speed (480 mbps) downstream ports
  • 1x USB2 High Speed (480 mbps) upstream port
  • 5th endpoint on USB hub exposes I2C, SPI, UART, and 2x GPIO
  • Data lines to each USB port can be disconnected via software commands. This allows errant USB devices to be “unplugged” virtually and re-enumerated.
  • USB digital signals can be boosted to help drive long cables.
  • Power Monitoring & Control
  • 5 V power on each downstream port can be individually turned on and off
  • Monitor the power consumed

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