Infineon USB Type-C charger unification helps cut e-waste

The EZ-PD BCR (barrel connector replacement) from Infineon Technologies is an integrated USB-C controller that, together with the USB-C connector, replaces barrel connectors, custom connectors or legacy USB connectors in electronic devices. The EZ-PD BCR solution supports the USB power delivery standard that interoperates with all USB-C power adapters without the need of firmware development.

Changing to a USB-C charging port using EZ-PD BCR at the power-sink holds numerous benefits for the consumers as well as the manufacturers, says Infineon. It offers higher levels of convenience to consumers by being agnostic to connector types or product manufacturers when selecting a charger. Manufacturers can benefit from the consolidation of large variants of chargers to a standard USB-C charger. EZ-PD BCR helps minimise bill of material cost for the USB-C power-sink system and it guarantees USB-C specification compliance and interoperability through USB-IF certification.

The recently published Revised Radio Equipment Directive from the European Commission proposes to standardise charging ports for most electronic devices with an aim to reduce e-waste from retied, incompatible chargers. The proposal calls for USB-C as the common charging port and it allows consumers to charge their devices with the same USB-C charger, regardless of the device brand. A common charging standard harmonises fast charging technology and prevents product producers unjustifiably limiting the charging speed when using a charger from a different brand.

The common charger proposal also unbundles the sale of a charger from the sale of the electronic device such that consumers will be able to purchase a new electronic device without a new charger. This will greatly limit the number of unwanted chargers purchased or left unused, and ultimately reduce e-waste, says Infineon.

At the power-source, in the charger, the latest CoolGaN Integrated power stage (IPS) 600 V leverages GaN and driver technologies. GaN technology allows for higher switching frequency and more output power in the same size or smaller charger with the same power level. An integration results in high power density suiting this device to fast charger designs. 

CoolGaN has an advanced breakdown field of ten times and an electron mobility of two times higher compared with silicon devices. The key for the high frequency operation capability of CoolGaN lies in a 10 times lower output and gate charge, compared with silicon-based devices and a reverse recovery charge of virtually zero, says Infineon.

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