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Microsoft supports new USB version that could power PCs

The Universal Serial Bus port, better known as USB, has gone through three major versions since launching a number of years ago. USB 3.0 is the latest version of the file and power transfer technology, and is now available on most new PCs. Now there's word that a new USB standard could launch in the very near future and could eliminate a few standard power cables in the process.

News.com reports that the standard is being called USB PD, for Power Delivery and it's designed to offer users more powerful power charging options. Currently, USB 3.0 can carry 4.5 watts of power, and a variant, USB BC, can go even higher to 7.5 watts. USB ports can be used now to power up smartphones, media players, cameras and tablets.

USB PD, however, could carry as much as 100 watts, enough to power big PC monitors, laptops or even workstations. The USB Implementers Forum finalized the USB PD standard in July, which has the support of Microsoft. Other companies that will support USB PD include Intel, Renesas Electronics, ST-Ericsson, and Texas Instruments. Nokia has also put its thumbs up in favor of USB PD.

We could see the first products with USB PD ports available near the end of 2012. This would seem to be a major roadblock for Intel's Thunderbolt port technology, which debuted on some Apple devices in 2011 but has been slow to make its way on PCs.

Source: News.com | Image via Intel

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