Connector clutter was cut down by a new Freescale chip that consolidates data, voice and power onto a single mini-USB connector. Look for fewer connectors on consumer handheld devices starting in 2010. R.C.J.
As mobile handsets, media players and pocket cameras continue to shrink in size while simultaneously increasing their features, design engineers are having a difficult time finding space for connectors required for data transfers, batter charging, earplugs or microphones. Freescale Semiconductor Inc. (Austin, Texas) claims to have solved the problem by multiplexing these functions onto a single USB connector. Previously, USB connectors at three different sizes could not be serviced by a single, standard chip. After designing custom chips for OEMs that enable multiple uses of USB connectors, Freescale began offering a standard chip to customers who can't afford a custom chip, and who must today cobble together multiple components.