Image: denvit (Pixabay)

Bulky power bricks could be a thing of the past for gaming laptops and other demanding portable devices. USB-IF, the creators of the ubiquitous technology, has published the official specifications for version 2.1 of its USB Type-C standard.

The biggest and most significant change pertains to power delivery; the 2.1 revision allows for up to 240 watts of power delivery over a single Type-C cable. This is quite a bit better than the original implementation, which topped out at 100 watts.

Per Ars Technica’s coverage:

Comparing the USB-C 2.0 standard to today’s 2.1 standard, the optional new Extended Power Range (EPR) specification—which bumps maximum voltage up to 48 V, sufficient to deliver 240 W at 5 A—seems to be by far the largest change.

From a consumer’s perspective, the physical standard hasn’t changed—USB-C type 2.1 devices will plug into USB-C type 2.0 ports, and vice versa. Under the hood, the standards on the midplate have gotten stricter—a new paragraph has been added mandating that pins A4-A9 and B4-B9 (power, power delivery, and legacy USB 2.0 support) must not short to ground during connector mating.

The USB-IF’s 410-page documentation for its USB-Type-C 2.1 revision also confirms a number of other improvements, such as design changes to reduce the possibility of arcing when USB-PD cables. Standard power range cables (SPR) are also being deprecated for new extended power range (EPR) cables.

Source: USB-IF (via Ars Technica)

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7 Comments

  1. Laptops that draw 90+ watts of power are toasty beyond belief. 200+ watts should provide a space-heater effect for a large size room!

  2. [QUOTE=”Burticus, post: 41842, member: 297″]
    Just looked and my new laptop’s usb-c charger is 65w. So 240w is crazy!
    [/QUOTE]
    My XPS15 has a 135W charger – and it’s proprietary, given that the standard didn’t cover that level of power delivery.

    Now, I’ll agree that 240W seems excessive. I just assume that they’re expecting the standard to cover just about everything in the consumer space that needs both power and data.

    [QUOTE=”serpretetsky, post: 41847, member: 4634″]
    48v. Wowza.
    [/QUOTE]
    They push that over CAT5 for PoE devices. Lower amperages, of course, but still enough to make 48-port PoE switches deafening!

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