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How to Test USB Type-C Alternate Mode

Application Notes


USB Type-C (or USB-C) is a ubiquitous and widely adopted interface in modern electronic devices. The connector supports a smaller form factor, higher data rate, more power delivery capabilities, and flexible connectivity with other protocols. Key USB Type-C focus areas include connecting devices, managing power, and ensuring valid data transmissions.


The USB Type-C connector provides reversibility for ease of use, dynamic power up to 240 W with USB4 protocol, backward compatibility (USB 2.0, USB 3.2, USB 3.1, and USB4), and alternate mode to support DisplayPort, HDMI, and PCIe® protocols for many new and future devices.


Design and test engineers face several challenges when integrating USB Type-C into their products while ensuring interoperability and test compliance. As the USB Type-C compliance test standard grows more complex, successful testing requires highly accurate and standard-compliant test instruments, software, and fixtures.


This application note covers various aspects of the challenges and solutions for testing the USB Type-C alternate modes, including the latest DisplayPort, HDMI, and PCIe® protocols that can be carried over the Type-C connector and cables.


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Column Control DTX