Analog Angle Article

Chipset family supports Thunderbolt 10.3 Gbps interface standard

Dallas, Texas—If you're not familiar with Thunderbolt technology, you probably should get started. Developed by Intel and marketed in collaboration with Apple, it's intended to enable extremely fast data transfers between a PC and a peripheral or display device, combining PCI Express and DisplayPort technology for simultaneous bi-directional transfers at 10.3 Gbps, over a single cable.


The overall functionality of Thunderbolt technology looks simple

(as so do so many complex things).

(Click here to see enlarged image)

But such speed doesn’t come easy. In addition to the Intel-supplied host processor, graphics processing unit, and platform controller hub (PCH), it takes some serious, dedicated interface management and support components (and carefully built cable using 40 AWG) to make it happen—and also demands some significant power and management.

A sextet of ICs from Texas Instruments strives to make it doable. Within the family (take a deep breath) you'll find t he TPS22980 power load switch resides on both the host and device side, facilitating the delivery and receipt of power to both the active cable and the connected device, while the LM3017 boost and battery disconnect and HD3SS001 FET switch work in tandem on the host to connect to the cable where the TPS22985 power load switch, DS100TB211 signal conditioning retimer with clock and data recovery (CDR)  and LMZ10501 SIMPLE SWITCHER® nano module reside.


A six-IC chipset from Texas Instruments works

in conjunction with Intel-supplied ICs to provide connectivity

and transfers implementing the Thunderbolt standard.

(Click here to see enlarged image)

Features; benefits; packaging, pricing (1000 piece lots), and availability:

TPS22980: 3.3V to 18V power load switch

•Single, integrated solution saves board space and simplifies system design by providing a dual voltage switch with an adjustable current limit that prevents damage to the connected device.

•High-voltage discharge before low-voltage connection protects components from over-voltage exposure.

•4 × 4 mm QFN, $1.10, now

TPS22985: Power selection device

Single, integrated solution manages all power delivery through a Thunderbolt technology cable, simplifying cable designs.

Optimized for use with the DS100TB211 for cable implementation, minimizing required external circuitry and saving space in the active cable form factor.

•1.6 × 1.6 mm BGA; $0.65; now

DS100TB211: Signal conditioning retimer with CDR

Dual-lane retimer with adaptive four-stage equalization enables thin, inexpensive 40-AWG cable.

Integrated clock synthesis and power filtering reduces bill-of-materials cost and PCB layers.

On-chip cable diagnostics lowers assembly time, cost. 

•5 × 5 mm QFN; $3.95; samples now, full production 3Q2012

HD3SS0001: Data source selection switch

Single solution integrates multiple discrete components, saving board space.

Optimized pinout for routing from signal sources to connector.

•3.5 × 5.5 mm TQFN, $0.90; samples now, full production 3Q2012

LM3017: Boost controller with true shutdown

•True shutdown protects battery from excessive current draw in a short circuit condition.

•Meets both broadband output noise and ripple requirements with less than 50-mV peak-to-peak.

•Output power capability delivers up to 30-W for driving two Thunderbolt ports at 15-W each.

•±1% reference voltage provides accurate output to power load switch.

•2.4 × 2.7mm QFN. $0.97, full production 2Q2012

LMZ10501: 1A SIMPLE SWITCHER® nano module with integrated inductor

Integrated inductor saves board space and eases design.

High efficiency up to 97 percent reduces system heat generation.

Adjustable output voltage provides design flexibility.

•3.0 × 2.5 mm  SE08A, $1.80; now.

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