Polymeric TCO Devices Protect USB-C Against Thermal Runaway

Bourns, Inc., introduced its new family of Polymeric Thermal Cutoff (P-TCO) devices designed to protect USB-C cables from destructive and potentially dangerous thermal runaway events. The new P-TCO family from Bourns offers an optimized over-temperature protection solution for USB C-C, C-B, and C-A connector configurations.

The family accommodates USB 3.2, 3.1, 3.0, and 2.0 protocols, and can work with other types of data/charging cables and mobile devices. So, applications for the P-TCO family include mobile devices, as well as USB 3.2, 3.1, 3.0, and 2.0 cables, and other types of data and charging cables.

Capable of providing up to 100W of power, the USB Type-C connector features 24 pins in a smaller form factor than previous USB connector designs.

The company notes, that while there are clear benefits to its enhanced power features and capabilities, there is also a design tradeoff. According to Bourns, the combination of increased power and extremely tight pin spacing heightens the potential risk of safety hazards from thermal runaway conditions that could be triggered by dirt or liquid entering the connector and causing a short.

Bourns’ new P-TCO model series provides a combination of compact, ultra-low resistance thermal protection to help safeguard against these potentially dangerous overtemperature events. The P-TCO family features surface mount packaging for automated assembly and has low profiles for over-molding considerations.

Designed to meet small footprint requirements, the new P-TCO family includes two series; P-TCO-U series in a 1210 footprint, and the P-TCO-N series in an ultra-compact 1206 footprint.

The device family has a 12V maximum operating voltage rating and a 50A maximum operating current rating. Each series within the family is available in three different models that the company designed to offer protection for a variety of temperature-current combinations.

Ultra-low resistance materials used in the P-TCO family enable both the P-TCO-U and P-TCO-N series to achieve initial resistance values as low as 2mΩ and post-trip resistance values as low as 14mΩ, thereby allowing the devices to achieve current-carrying capabilities as high as 4.5A.

Both the P-TCO-U and P-TCO-N series are halogen-free, RoHS compliant, and feature cUL and TÜV certifications

Bourns is showcasing its P-TCO-U and P-TCO-N series of USB-C protection devices as well as the company’s entire line of overtemperature protection solutions at Battery Japan, February 27 to March 1, 2019, in booth # W4-68.

Bourns’ P-TCO family of devices is available now.

Bourns Inc.
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