SMSC Introduces Industry’s Smallest, Full-Featured 7-Port Hi-Speed USB 2.0 Hub Controller

HAUPPAUGE, N.Y.—(BUSINESS WIRE)—February 25, 2009— SMSC (NASDAQ: SMSC), a leading semiconductor company providing innovative connectivity solutions spanning analog, digital and mixed-signal technologies, today announced the USB2517, a new single-chip, 7-port USB hub controller. This new Hi-Speed USB device delivers the industry’s smallest footprint for a 7-port Hi-Speed USB hub controller, consuming 50 percent less board space compared to previous SMSC devices. Also featuring superior design flexibility and performance enhancing features, the USB2517 is an excellent solution for USB port expansion in docking stations, port replicators, remote displays and peripheral hubs designed for use with netbook and ultra-mobile PCs.

“USB has become a preferred connection solution for devices where content transfer speed and abundant connectivity ports are critical requirements,” said Mark Bode Vice President of Connectivity Marketing at SMSC. “The lack of a sufficient number of USB ports on the emerging spectrum of netbook and ultra-mobile PCs is creating high demand for external port expansion peripherals that can bridge the gap between these devices and the growing number of USB gadgets that need to connect to them.”

“For the new class of computing applications that require fast connectivity in ultra small form factors, SMSC’s USB2517 is an ideal solution,” said, Ted Kao, General Manager at GWC Technology, Inc. “Integrating the functionality of multiple ICs into a single-chip solution reduces design complexity and cost and affords greater flexibility for this burgeoning segment of the mobile computing market.”

Enhancing Peripheral Connectivity for New Class of Mobile PCs

Opting for ultra mobility, the emerging netbook PCs and Mobile Internet Devices (MIDs) offer fewer built-in I/O ports in order to achieve a desirable portable form factor. Typical netbook PCs feature two or less USB ports, no PC card slot, and in some instances, no Ethernet port (RJ45). Their compact design also limits display size, and exiles storage options such as optical disk drives, DVD-ROM or Blu-ray to peripheral components.

While these design changes promote portability, consumers continue to expect a full PC experience out of the smaller, less capable box when they transition from on-the-go to a more stationary environment like a home or office. To get equivalent desktop PC connectivity out of a netbook, a typical user would need multiple USB ports for a full-size keyboard, a mouse, a multi-function printer, and an external HDD for increased storage or a DVD-ROM drive for loading software. Power users may need a few more free ports to synchronize portable media players, charge their mobile phones, hook up surround sound speakers, or even drive an external LCD monitor for expanded display area.

“SMSC’s USB2517 is a compelling new solution for a myriad of USB port replicators and docking stations that provide add-on USB connectivity to this new class of mobile PCs,” said Mark Bode.

New Connectivity Options for Docking

When used in a basic USB hub box, the USB2517 provides up to seven additional USB 2.0 ports from one USB connection to a netbook PC. The USB2517 is extremely versatile when used in a USB docking station where its seven USB ports are utilized as internal and external attach points. A USB hub is typically located in the center of a USB docking station to act a central port of connectivity. SMSC’s USB2517 is designed specifically with this function in mind. Armed with unique features such as PortMap, PortSwap, TrueSpeed and PHYBoost, the USB2517 handles embedded USB connections with ease and provides designers the flexibility to meet the industry’s stringent USB certification requirements that often create configuration challenges to even experienced system designers.

The USB2517 also features SMSC’s MultiTRAK™ technology, which provides a dedicated pipeline, or a Transaction Translator (TT), for every downstream Full-Speed device. This allows end-users to experience a noticeable boost in Full-Speed data throughput compared to other hub controllers that use a shared TT system. Despite the rapid transition of the USB ecosystem from Full-Speed (12 Mbps) to High-Speed (480 Mbps), nearly 35%* of all USB peripherals currently shipping are still Full-Speed devices which require a TT to channel data to and from a USB High-Speed host. The performance boost provided by MultiTRAK is critically important for a USB docking station as the large number of concurrent USB data streams aggregated by USB2517 requires a high-performance hub to achieve optimal transfer rate for all attached USB peripherals.

USB Hub Family

SMSC’s USB2517 is the newest member of SMSC’s expanding USB Hub Family. With 2, 3, 4, and 7-port versions, SMSC offers a wide range of USB port expansion products to meet or exceed customers’ expectations. In addition to varying port counts, the USB Hub Family is available in commercial, industrial and automotive grades that are designed and tested for operating at perspective temperature ranges to meet customers’ requirements in computing, consumer and automotive applications.

    USB2512A   USB2512Ai   USB2513   USB2513i   USB2514   USB2514i   USB2517   USB2517i
# Downstream Ports   2   2   3   3   4   4   7   7
I2C / SMBus  

Integrated Enhanced ESD
  Protection (8kV HBM, 8kV
  IEC Contact & 15kV IEC Air)

Industrial Temp

(-40° to 85°C)



(6x6 mm)



(7x7 mm)



(9x9 mm)


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