The USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF) has announced a major update to the USB-C standard that more than doubles its power capacity. The change will be a boon to coming portable PCs with higher power requirements.
“With the continued success of the USB interface, there exists a need to adapt USB technology to serve newer computing platforms and devices as they trend toward smaller, thinner, and lighter form-factors,” the USB-IF writes in its specification document for new USB-C receptacles, plugs, and cables. “This specification is to establish a new USB connector ecosystem that addresses the evolving needs of platforms and devices while retaining all of the functional benefits of USB that form the basis for this most popular of computing device interconnects.”
Currently, USB-C supports delivering up to 100 watts of power, which is fine for most portable PCs, like Ultrabooks, which typically require 45- or 65-watts of power. But this limitation falls short for more powerful computers, which continue to use proprietary power plugs.
In the future, new PCs and other devices can use USB-C 2.1 to solve this problem, as PCs based on this standard will be able to deliver up to 240-watts of power. Obviously, this capability only applies to new hardware, and it will require new USB-C 2.1 cables. But once the transition is complete, more users will be able to bring a single charger that works with all their devices. (This is true today if you’re using an Ultrabook-class PC, most tablets, and an Android handset; Apple today still uses its proprietary Lightning connector on iPhones and some iPads.)
To avoid confusion and potential mishaps, the USB-IF says that USB-C 2.1 compatible products will be electronically marked to correctly identify themselves to other electronic devices.
Tagged with USB-C