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The humble connector is by no means a source of much excitement. But when you stop and think about it, the connector can enable some amazing things.

Lattice Semiconductor and MediaTek are today announcing advances in delivery of 4K videos over universal serial bus (USB Type-C) connectors. More data passing through the connector each second means your humble smartphone can become a much better tool for connecting to set-top boxes, game consoles, and laptops. And it will still be compatible with more than 900 million USB products out on the market.

The chip makers have created prototypes, or reference designs, of a power-efficient way to send 4K UHD videos through cables to smartphones for console-quality gaming and enhanced home entertainment on the latest 4K TVs. The connector will no longer be a bottleneck between your smart device and the screen where you want to display a video or game. This connector can deliver data at 10 gigabits per second.

A USB Type-C reference design from Lattice and MediaTek.

Above: A USB Type-C reference design from Lattice and MediaTek.

Image Credit: Lattice Semiconductor

Lattice’s USB Type-C port controllers and MHL transceivers can easily be paired with MediaTek’s Helio X20, the world’s first mobile processor with Tri-Cluster CPU architecture and ten processing cores.

For smartphones, Lattice’s SiI8348 MHL transmitter is used to connect to MediaTek’s Helio X20 to drive 4K video, while the SiI7033 port controller sets up MHL Alt Mode on USB Type-C as well as Power Data Objects (PDOs) required to quickly charge the phone.

“MediaTek is a valuable partner and together we’re enabling 4K video output on smartphones so users can experience console quality gaming and home entertainment on the latest 4K UHD TVs,” said C.H. Chee, senior director of consumer marketing at Lattice Semiconductor, in a statement. “We’re delivering the world’s most power-efficient 4K video out solution to make these connectivity use cases a reality without sacrificing battery life, so consumers can have the best of both worlds.”



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