When USB-C was first announced, the jury was out on whether it would be a success. While Apple was the first to release a USB-C to Lightning cable, the new standard was designed primarily for use with new Apple computers that would support the new cable. However, in recent months, the USB-C to USB cable has developed into a popular accessory for laptop users. Now, the USB-C Power Delivery specification is coming to USB Type-C devices. The new specification promises over 200 watts of power delivery. That means USB-C laptops and other USB-C power-hungry adapters will soon be able to charge their computers and other USB-C-charged devices at up to 240 watts.
USB-C is a technology that has been a little hard to work with: it offers high-speed (up to 10 Gb/s) data transfer, power delivery, display connectivity, and audio output. The problem is there’s a lot of confusion about what it is: is it a USB standard? Is it just the connection? And what exactly is it supposed to do?
Over the past few years, Apple has been steadily making the transition from proprietary charging ports (like the Lightning port) to USB-C, which can handle faster charging, more power, and even USB 3.1 Gen 2 power. However, the standard is still in its infancy, and Apple has just updated Apple’s latest laptops and new iPhones to support USB-C up to 2.4 Amps, or fairly close to the most powerful USB-C chargers. That means you can now plug a 240W charger into your new MacBook Pro and charge a MacBook Pro at the same time, or a USB Type-C device at the same time as your iPhone.
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The USB Implementers Forum, which oversees the USB specification, just released the latest version of USB, specifically USB Power Delivery. This version, which features bidirectional power supply of up to 240W, is the latest in a series of improvements that are laying the groundwork for a future unified charging system.
USB charging during data transfer was merely a formality a decade ago. A specialized charger and a wire that only transfers electricity would be required for each device. Even then, it would take hours, and you couldn’t even consider using this way to charge larger devices. Phones, laptops, and mini-robots are just a few of the many gadgets that use USB as their main power source today. A USB port may be used to charge most modern notebooks, and certain gaming machines also use this method.
The USB-Type C connector technology has played a significant role in the growth of USB as a power delivery method. The specification, which was published in 2013, is the closest thing we have to a uniform port system. While there is still work to be done, the fact that standards like HDMI and DisplayPort are now available over USB-C offers us optimism that in the future we will be able to do away with a large number of connections and adapters.
Before we get into the specifics of this upgrade, let’s take a look at USB-C, what it is, and how it differs from previous generations.
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USB-C connectors are smaller, oval-shaped, and, perhaps most crucially, flippable. You don’t have to worry about which side goes up; simply put it in. Furthermore, USB-C is bi-directional. The duck-face-shaped pin was normally on one end of older USB-A cables, and the smaller delivery pin was on the other, which you would place into your phone or anything else you wanted to charge or connect with.
The form of USB-C cables, on the other hand, is the same on both ends, thus it doesn’t matter which side goes where ( unless you have a USB-A to C converter cable, which is common in phone chargers). Both data and electricity can pass through the cable in both directions. USB-C ports and cables can also handle significantly higher data and power transfer speeds.
The USB-Implementers Forum is in charge of all of these protocols and specifications (USB-IF). More than 600 firms are members of this forum, including large names like Apple, Intel, HP, and Texas Instruments. The USB-IF notifies manufacturers when a new update or specification is released, as well as the requirements that these manufacturers must follow. The fact that the USB-IF has brought together such well-known figures is the key to its success and popularity.
While USB-C can now transport data at speeds of up to 40Gbps, most USB-C ports will not be capable of that. The reason for this is that, in its purest form, USB-C only provides a channel for the transport of data and power. It’s basically data and power delivery infrastructure. Just because the infrastructure exists doesn’t mean your devices can make use of it.
What is a USB Protocol, and how does it work?
The speed at which data and power are delivered is also determined by the capability of the devices you’re using. What protocols these devices are capable of employing, in particular. A protocol is a set of instructions for interacting with a data transfer port. Only if your device supports a specific protocol can you use USB-C to take advantage of that protocol’s capabilities. If your device can deliver the HDMI protocol, for example, you can utilize USB-C to do so.
Are all USB-C ports capable of the same things?
While USB’s capabilities do limit data and transmission capabilities, it’s also feasible that your devices’ specifications may as well. For example, USB-C is now limited to data transfer rates of up to 40Gbps, but most devices will not reach that speed. Some may deliver 10Gbps, while others may deliver even less.
USB-C was introduced in 2014, about the same time as the USB 3.2 update. At first, USB-C was capable of speeds of up to 10 Gbps, allowing it to support USB 3.2 requirements. Since then, things have progressed swiftly, and the latest Thunderbolt 4 specification (owned by Intel) can now transmit up to 40Gbps while also using USB-C.
What are USB 2.0, 3.0, 3.2, and other terms?
USB 2.0 to USB 4.0, are all USB specification updates. While USB-C connecter system is a hardware infrastructure, an update includes a lot more than the hardware. Like USB-4 released in 2019, a new update can include newer protocols, newer standards for manufactures, better capabilities, improved hardware, and a lot more. Basically, every time the USB-IF wants to incorporate all the R & D it has done in the past years, it releases a new major update. Then, all devices that have this new update in them are given the name and number. So a USB 3.2 port is basically a USB port that incorporates all the updates released in USB 3.2. The USB 4.0 update, based on the Thunderbolt 4 specification, is the first update that solely relies on USB-C type.
Power Delivery through USB-C
While we’ve talked about data rates, USB-C also dramatically enhances Power Delivery. This is due to the fact that it makes use of current Power Delivery technology as well as certain protocols that aid it. Power delivery over USB has risen in the last two decades, as demonstrated in the image obtained from a presentation delivered at the USB-IF. USB 2.0, the first significant USB upgrade, has a maximum power output of 2.5W. This has increased in power over time to 100W, and with the new update that we’ll describe later, it can now reach 240W!
New protocols such as the USB Power Delivery Protocol and the Alternate Mode Protocol, which better manage the data and power flowing through them, have resulted in increased power delivery.
The most recent USB update was announced at the beginning of this year, and it focuses on Power Delivery. It has the following characteristics:
USB-C could previously deliver up to 5A of current at 20V. The current limit remains unchanged in the latest version, although higher voltage levels have been added. This is most likely due to the fact that increasing current has a greater impact on losses than raising voltage. As a result, exceeding five amps in a USB-C cable would either result in a modest loss of data speed or a significant increase in the price of USB-C cables. 28V, 36V, and 48V are the new voltage levels, which correspond to 140W, 180W, and 240W, respectively.
Voltage Supply Mode with Variable Voltage
The powered device can now request varying power levels, ranging from 15V to one of three maximum limits. This is accomplished through the use of new protocols that enable more responsive power transfer. With a resolution of 100mV, devices can seek power anywhere between the limitations.
Direction of Power
Power has traditionally been delivered in one direction, but now both the peripheral and the host can deliver power. This is achieved through improved protocols that enable the gadget to communicate its requirements. Initially, we assumed that advanced circuit protection would automatically transfer power from the higher-power device to the lower-power device. Still, there has been chatter on tech forums recently that this technique would necessitate transformers and so power losses, so the devices would communicate first, and then power would be transferred. Once the first devices with this upgrade are out, it will be evident.
Power Management in Peripheral Areas
Some hubs, like as this one, may regulate power amongst peripherals, ensuring that power delivery to the largest device does not consume the full range. Perhaps the USB-IF is employing similar technology, but doing this through communication protocols in every USB port is astounding. However, the site suggests that optional hub communication between the PC and the ports might be used to set power limitations in advance.
These improvements to power supply are especially appealing to laptop users who prefer larger notebooks. Most USB docks currently give up to 100W of power, which is plenty for many smaller devices, but 13” and bigger notebooks demand more. With a maximum power output of 240W, customers may be able to ditch their specialist chargers in favor of USB-C cords.
Gaming laptops, on the other hand, are a completely different animal. These machines consume a lot of power, and while 240W is still a big jump, you won’t be able to do rid of standard chargers anytime soon.
The next version, according to Brad Saunders of the USB Promoters Group, will be released in the second part of this year. While some technical questions can only be answered until we’ve seen and reviewed the technology, there’s no doubting that this is one of the most important advancements in USB’s power delivery capabilities.
It’s no secret that USB-C is the future of charging. But if you’re going to get into it, you should know that this new version of USB-C has some special features that have not been available in the past. Like, for example, the ability to power chargers at over 240W of power. If you’ve ever heard of the USB PD standard, you know that its purpose is to allow for higher power output for the same cables that would be limited to 100W under legacy USB.. Read more about 240 watt usb-c charger and let us know what you think.
Frequently Asked Questions
Whats next after USB-C?
USB-C is the next generation of USB. It can be used for power, data transfer, and charging.
Do all USB-C cables support 100W?
No, not all USB-C cables support 100W. Some do and some dont.
Does USB-C use more power?
USB-C is a type of connector that allows for faster data transfer and charging. It can also be used to charge devices, but it does not use more power than the standard USB port.
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