Power of USB Power Delivery

February 21, 2019 at 8:00 AM

 

In this blog, we’ve talked a lot about USB. From USB 3.1 to USB 3.2, and even vibration-proof USB, USB is always reinventing itself, so it’s no wonder that it remains a powerfully popular interface. Now, USB is taking another step in its progression with USB power delivery, a fast charging technology with significantly higher power levels than standard charging. Here, we’ll take a look at the power of USB power delivery.

 

In the beginning, USB was merely a data interface that was able to provide a limited supply of power. Today, USB has evolved into a main power provider with a data interface. Thus, many things now use USB ports including cars, aircraft, laptops and wall sockets to charge or power devices and transfer data easily. In order to build on these existing USB functions, USB power delivery (USB-PD) has been developed to allow for maximum functionality of USB by delivering data and increased flexible power over a single cable.

 

USB-PD increases power levels from current standards and boosts them up to 100W. This allows for larger, USB-PD-enabled devices, such as tablets and laptops, to be charged over a USB-C cable without the use of bulky power cables. USB-C cables were designed to be able to handle the increased wattage of USB-PD without overheating or being damaged. USB-PD also enables the freedom of power direction that is not fixed, allowing the host or peripheral device to provide power. With USB-PD, enabled devices are capable of power management that is optimized across multiple peripherals, allowing each device to use only the power it needs. Additional power can be given as it is required for a specific application. This system also provides intelligent and flexible power management through hub communication with the PC. Plus, low-power devices, such as headsets, can negotiate to receive only the power they need. USB-PD specifications have been added to both USB 2.0 and 3.0 adopter agreements.

 

With the introduction of USB-PD, USB continues to prove itself an indispensable interface relevant in today’s continually changing world of technology.

 

All About USB 3.2

January 10, 2019 at 8:00 AM

 

We’ve discussed the difference between USB 3.1 Gen 1 vs. Gen 2, but now comes the next level for Universal Serial Bus - USB 3.2. What makes this newest USB standard stand out? First and foremost are increased bandwidth and USB Type-C connector and cable support. Here, we’ll take a look at all the specs, so you’ll know all about USB 3.2.

 

While USB 3.1 Gen 1 brought 5 Gbps and Gen 2 doubled that to 10 Gbps speeds, USB 3.2 then doubles down again to offer 20 Gbps speeds – the most notable feature of the new standard. The way it provides those speeds is a little different though. USB 3.2 utilizes what is being called multi-lane operation, where devices use two lanes of 5 Gbps or 10 Gbps running together to transfer data at the same time over extra wires inside the USB cables. This allows for a cumulative data transfer rate of 10 Gbps to 20 Gbps.

 

What does this new standard mean for older USB cables? Fortunately, the new standard will be backward compatible with older standards. Even more fortunately, if the host and recipient devices are USB 3.2 compatible, older USB cables will also see a boost in speeds as great as 2 Gbps. USB 3.2 will also support USB-C connectors and their features such as power delivery, alternate modes, and digital audio, video and data on the same cable.

 

Overall, the new USB 3.2 standard is a big upgrade in terms of speed, but otherwise, it’s not a huge shift – which might be good news for those not ready to replace all of their older USB equipment. Though faster speeds are always good news, so this update is sure to be a welcomed change.

 

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