New USB 3.0 power delivery specification announced

The USB 3.0 Promoter Group has announced that it is creating a brand new power delivery specification, which they feel will help to “extend the capabilities and usages” of cable bus power in USB applications.

Brad Saunders, the USB 3.0 Promoter Group chairman said, “Building on the rapidly increasing industry momentum for using USB bus power to charge a broad range of mobile devices, the new USB Power Delivery specification extends USB’s cable power delivery capabilities beyond simple battery charging,”

He went on to say that, “For example, charging the battery of a notebook PC, or simply powering that notebook PC while actively using the USB data connection, would be possible. Conceivably, a notebook PC could rely solely on a USB connection for its source of power.”

The main new features of the forthcoming USB Power Delivery solution include:

  • Compatible with existing cables and connectors
  • Enables voltage and current values to be negotiated over the USB power 
pins
  • Enables higher voltage and current in order to deliver power up to 100W
  • Switchable source of power delivery without changing cable direction
  • Coexists with USB Battery Charging 1.2 and works equally well with both 
USB 2.0 and USB 3.0

The new specification will be placed in front of industry review towards the end of the year, while additional information is due to be announced during the Intel Developer Forum, which will take place from September 13th to 15th this year.

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18 Comments

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first thing i think of about using usb to charge laptops... no more loose power connectors breaking and preventing charging... [coughs] HP [/coughs]

...Building on the rapidly increasing industry momentum for using USB bus power to charge a broad range of mobile devices...

When even the chairman of the USB promoter group adds in the redundant "bus" part, we're all doomed.

So now theres going to be a NEW version of the USB 3 "standard"? Bit of a contradiction in terms me think. What's the point of a standard if you change it months after people have already started making devices to meet the old standard.

Sigh. I'll pass thanks.

TCLN Ryster said,
So now theres going to be a NEW version of the USB 3 "standard"? Bit of a contradiction in terms me think. What's the point of a standard if you change it months after people have already started making devices to meet the old standard.

Sigh. I'll pass thanks.

It's an optional amendment, much like the USB 2.0 charging spec was

would be good for charging notebooks... but as stated above if only it was adopted as not only universal data transfer but also common power transfer. Nice to charge a notebook finally but imagine being able to power general household items with it.

I think this could go even further - I would love to see usb replace plug sockets as a whole, they take up much less space, they are standard (every country seems to have its own plug) and since they're negotiable they can be much safer. It really is time we updated the dated electrical systems in our homes.

Kushan said,
I think this could go even further - I would love to see usb replace plug sockets as a whole, they take up much less space, they are standard (every country seems to have its own plug) and since they're negotiable they can be much safer. It really is time we updated the dated electrical systems in our homes.

The only issue is that current USB cables under this spec can only supply 100 watts, and many devices need more than that. A standard north american outlet can carry up to 1800 watts

This is really exiting for many reasons. Charging portable devices (Of all sizes, from DAP to a laptop) off a unified connector, your desktop could, should it have the necessary hardware, power your monitor, freeing up a spot on your power bar. All sorts of things

UUUUGGGGHH! So, when I finally get a new laptop that has USB 3.0, they announce this. Hopefully (but doubtfully) this will be delivered to early adopters by an update of the firmware in the USB 3.0 controllers.

Anthony S said,
UUUUGGGGHH! So, when I finally get a new laptop that has USB 3.0, they announce this. Hopefully (but doubtfully) this will be delivered to early adopters by an update of the firmware in the USB 3.0 controllers.

Aaah, no. There is no way that your current laptop can send or receive 100 watts, this will need new hardware

Anthony S said,
UUUUGGGGHH! So, when I finally get a new laptop that has USB 3.0, they announce this. Hopefully (but doubtfully) this will be delivered to early adopters by an update of the firmware in the USB 3.0 controllers.

If a firmware update can add traces, Low Drop out regulators, Charging IC's, capacitors, etc, then yeah a firmware update will work.

this is not just an "unlock" as Sraf mentioned. nice thinking though

Sraf said,

Aaah, no. There is no way that your current laptop can send or receive 100 watts, this will need new hardware

I hope it's not called 3.0 then. That would be confusing for the consumer. 3.5 maybe?

djdanster said,
Cool, so potentially the future laptop chargers could be USB 3 standard and no more universal
! WOHOOOOO!

It would be very nice to not have to carry around huge power chords that only work with that particular laptop...