The universal Serial Bus Promoter Group has formally announced the latest power delivery specification for the USB standard, one that further reduces the relevance of power adapters. USB 2.0
could only deliver 2.5 watts of energy, while USB 3.0 has, so far, managed 4.5 watts. This is usually good enough for recharging the batteries of small gadgets or phones, but not larger things.
The USB 3.0
promoters group decided this wasn't going to fly anymore. If USB 3.0 can transfer 5 Gbps of data, it should be able to send enough electricity to charge larger things.
Case in point, the organization has announced the newest USB power delivery specification, which lifts the limit from 4.5W to 100W.
“The publication of the USB Power Delivery specification is an important step in enabling a flexible, standardized power management ecosystem,” said Peter Harrison, director of standards collaboration at Nokia.
We can't help but agree. The specification seems to imply that the voltage and current are variable, but that doesn't change the fact that 100W is enough to power a laptop.
Removing the need for special adapters on external HDDs and making inexpensive external graphics cards for mobile PCs should be easy now as well.
“USB power delivery enables a path to greatly reduce electronic waste by eliminating proprietary, platform-specific chargers,” said Brad Saunders, USB 3.0 promoter group chairman.
“We envision a significant move toward universal charging based on this specification, most notably for charging notebook PCs using standardized USB power bricks or when connected to USB hubs and desktop displays that integrate USB power delivery capabilities.”
The USB power delivery specification describes the power source as switchable, so that cable direction doesn't need to be changed.
Another benefit is that existing USB cables and connectors are compatible with the new technology and will exist alongside USB battery charging 1.2 specification and whatever USB-bus-powered applications are already out and about.