Geneva, August 1, 2013 – Global semiconductor leader STMicroelectronics has announced new chips that allow users to charge mobile devices from a USB port even when the computer is in software-controlled shutdown mode. Using a unique attach-detection feature, which is patented by ST and operates when the PC is shut down, ST’s chips new STCC5011 and STCC5021 (called charger emulators) can detect when a mobile device has been connected. This enables the PC’s power supply to be activated for charging. The chips also monitor current to turn the power supply off when charging is complete and thereby maximize the energy savings. Other charger emulators require the PC to be in working or sleep mode to charge the device, which consumes more power than when the PC is in shutdown mode.
Charging in PC shutdown mode with the STCC5011 or STCC5021 improves the energy efficiency of USB charging and makes it more convenient for end users. Moreover, when the USB port is active and waiting for a device to be connected for charging, ST’s chips consume only 1/16 of the power of other charger emulators. This allows PCs to offer convenient USB charging with minimal impact on power consumption or PC battery life during normal use. Both chips have circuitry to avoid discharging the PC’s battery, which allows even the most mobile of users to charge devices safely while using the PC on battery power alone.
The International Electrotechnical Commission’s (IEC) universal phone-charger standard promotes USB charging by making use of the USB interface specification