• HOME
  • Blogs
  • USB Type-C™ and USB PD for new portable electronic devices
TDK-Lambda Americas Blog

USB Type-C™ and USB PD for new portable electronic devices

USB

Thursday, June 16, 2022

USB Type-C™ and USB PD for new portable electronic devices

We all have a box or kitchen drawer somewhere filled with old external power supplies. “I may need this one day, you never know” is the subliminal message in your head as you pick up a half pound 15 year old linear charger that you can’t remember what it originally powered. Then there is a tangled web of charging cables with Mini-A and Micro-A connectors, which like the standard USB, gives you a 50% chance of plugging it the correct way on the first attempt.

In Europe those days will soon come to an end as a provisional agreement has been made by all 27 member countries to use a common USB Type-C charger on all new portable devices. This has not been a rash decision, work on the legislation began 13 years ago in 2009.

Products requiring the USB-C include, according to the EU:

● Cell phones

● Tablets

● Headsets and headphones

● Keyboards and mice

● Handheld videogame consoles

● Digital cameras

● Portable speakers including earbuds

These devices will be mandatory in 2024 and laptops will be mandatory by 2026.

USB Connector.jpg

Figure 1: USB-C connector

USB Type

Max Voltage

Max Current

Max Power

USB 2.0

5V

0.5A

2.5W

USB 3.0 and USB 3.1

5V

0.9A

4.5W

USB BC 1.2

5V

1.5A

7.5W

USB Type-C 1.2

5V

1.5A

15W

USB PD 3.0

20V

5A

100W

The highest power version is the Power Deliver (PD) version capable of powering devices up to 100W. Smart chargers can be programmed via the USB to adjust both voltage and current levels for efficiency purposes.

This EU legislation will be welcomed by most consumers, who will not need to purchase an additional charger with every device. External power supplies tend to out-last the devices they charge saving around 11,000 tonnes of e-waste every year. Expect similar regulations to be introduced in other countries. We may see other external power supplies follow this connector standard, eliminating for many specialized cable assemblies.

Oh, and yes - the connector is “rotationally symmetrical”.

PAGE TOP