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Portables Power Hardware

USB 3.0 100W Power Standard Seeks To End Proprietary Chargers 247

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the tim-the-toolman-taylor dept.
judgecorp writes "The USB 3.0 Promoter Group has published a Power Delivery standard which will deliver up to 100W. The specification (press release with link to full details) includes new bi-directional — and backward compatible — USB cables, and has been proposed as the new connector between mains adapters and laptops, eliminating e-waste by standardizing a proprietary component." At home, only having to run one cable to the wall might be nice, and being able to grab some juice from any friend may end the disaster that is forgetting your laptop power brick when on the road. And imagine only having to pack a single power hub instead of three or four redundant transformers (how many people don't use their laptop to charge their phone nowadays?).
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USB 3.0 100W Power Standard Seeks To End Proprietary Chargers

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  • by gigaherz (2653757) on Tuesday July 24, 2012 @05:35AM (#40746847)
    From he article: The high power charging will require special, electronically detectable and very clever “USB Power Delivery” certified cables, which will be backwards compatible with all types of USB 2.0 and 3.0. So yeah, if resistance > X, its not a proper cable and you can't use it for > 4.5W (standard USB3 charging power)
  • Doubtful (Score:4, Informative)

    by gaelfx (1111115) on Tuesday July 24, 2012 @05:37AM (#40746861)

    A question remains: will companies like Apple, who have used proprietary chargers and connectors for years despite the prevalence of the USB standard, adopt the new cable?

    I can't imagine they will, even with their recent EPEAT flip-flop. What I can't figure out is if they are just trying to keep their products distinct or they don't like it when someone else has a really good idea or what. They've already chosen Thunderbolt as their new adapter of choice, and while they'll never use that for the iFamily of products (since so many people won't/can't buy machines with that connectivity), I can't imagine they'll cave to the USB standard now. I do hope I'm wrong though.

    On a side note, does anyone know how many thunderbolt devices are actually available for consumer purchase at this point? Are any of them reasonably priced?

  • Re:Doubtful (Score:5, Informative)

    by teg (97890) on Tuesday July 24, 2012 @05:50AM (#40746929) Homepage

    A question remains: will companies like Apple, who have used proprietary chargers and connectors for years despite the prevalence of the USB standard, adopt the new cable?

    I can't imagine they will, even with their recent EPEAT flip-flop. What I can't figure out is if they are just trying to keep their products distinct or they don't like it when someone else has a really good idea or what. They've already chosen Thunderbolt as their new adapter of choice, and while they'll never use that for the iFamily of products (since so many people won't/can't buy machines with that connectivity), I can't imagine they'll cave to the USB standard now. I do hope I'm wrong though.

    Their current connector [wikipedia.org] does a lot more than USB [pinouts.ru], so probably no.

  • by troon (724114) on Tuesday July 24, 2012 @05:55AM (#40746949)

    You won't get an electric shock touching a conductor at 20V DC, so long as you don't put it on your mouth. The *power* output capability is irrelevant in its ability to shock you.

  • Re:Doubtful (Score:4, Informative)

    by ecotax (303198) on Tuesday July 24, 2012 @06:05AM (#40746989)

    The new external Apple 27" monitor is thunderbolt too.

  • Re:Doubtful (Score:4, Informative)

    by DrXym (126579) on Tuesday July 24, 2012 @07:46AM (#40747455)
    Apple signed a memorandum of understanding along with other manufacturers with the EU to ensure their phone devices can be charged from a USB charger through micro USB. Did they include a micro USB port in the 4S? Of course not. They produced an £8 dongle for their device which ensures practically nobody would bother with it and stuck with their existing proprietary dock. At least for the time being their devices will charge through USB with a proprietary cable.

    I think even as it stands they run the risk of pissing off the EU so much they'll get sanctioned in some way. If they move even further away from their MoU such as by dumping USB entirely they'll definitely be in trouble. It's also likely that that the EU would be desirous of getting tablets and perhaps even laptops to agree to a common external power supply format so that the problem with phones doesn't happen again somewhere else. I'm sure if they do that Apple will try their best to subvert the process again.

  • by yincrash (854885) on Tuesday July 24, 2012 @08:16AM (#40747623)
    Incorrect, there is no IC in the cable. I skimmed over the spec (which is free to download). There are just extra pins deeper in the connector to ID the new cables.
  • by petermgreen (876956) <plugwashNO@SPAMp10link.net> on Tuesday July 24, 2012 @08:46AM (#40747869) Homepage

    I think you are worrying uncessacerally. The spec is freely downloadable at http://www.usb.org/developers/docs/usb_30_spec_071012.zip [usb.org] (USB_PD_V1_0-20120705-final.pdf within the zip). The A ends of the cables indicate thier type passively (micro connectors use an ID resistor while full-size connectors use mechanical differences).

  • Re:Stupid (Score:3, Informative)

    by flex941 (521675) on Tuesday July 24, 2012 @08:52AM (#40747929)
    It doesn't charge at the same speed. My wall-adapter is rated 1A (usb standard is 500mW afaik) and the phone really charges about twice the speed when connected to it compared to charging from a computer/laptop.

No hardware designer should be allowed to produce any piece of hardware until three software guys have signed off for it. -- Andy Tanenbaum

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