Extended power range: usb-c supplies art up to 240 watts

Extended Power Range: USB-C supplies art up to 240 watts

For smartphones and compact notebooks, the power supply over usb-c is now standard: the twist-proof plug can supply up to 100 watts – a corresponding thick power supply ames. For powerful notebooks with rapid 3d graphics chips, this maximum did not arise in the standard, which led to wild growth: in such notebooks, there are again classic circular plugs that can not be exchanged between notebooks of different manufacturers. Dell, in turn, has extended the standard proprietar to 130 watts, which is then again only for the combination of certain in-house notebooks and power supply.

The standardization committee usb-if (universal serial bus implementer forum) has accepted the matter: kunftig are up to 240 watt charging power possible. Apart from a few desktop replacement systems, ranges to the mass of gaming notebooks and opened new opportunities for powering other residence classes.


The expansion of 100 to 240 watts made new revisions of two specifications upgrade: the "usb type-c cable and connector specification", which defines the electrical parameters of plugs, sockets and cables, became revision 2.1 raised and the "usb power delivery specification" with the protocol fines is in revision 3.1 before. The double was necessary as new epr stress levels (extended power range) are defined, which has broader effects.

So far, usb-c was 20 volts. With the epr extension now also 28 volts, 36 volts and 48 volts are now possible. In all levels, up to 5 amps continued – an important difference to dell’s above-mentioned proprietary 130 watt extension, which provides 6.5 amps at 20 volts. Through the stronger epr stages, usb-c cables are not thicker (and thus stiffer) than they are already.

Extended Power Range: USB-C supplies art up to 240 watts

The epr modes (extended power range) offer a usb-c power supply with 28, 36 or 48 volts.

Nevertheless, it is necessary: other capacitors in the plugs are necessary, so that no arcs occur when removing stress, which were inevitably damaging the contacts. Analogous to usb-c cables that are approved for 5 amps, epr cables carry a corresponding electronic label that it identifies up to 50 volts. Without such a marking maximum 3 amps in previous mode, which is now spray (standard power range). Since the human eye can only be badly read out electronic markers, epr cables should also get a corresponding visible label.

At the log level, new sets have been set. Already in the famous spr mode there was a communication between the partners: a source had to inform a sink which modes it offers, and the valley had to tell what mode it had liked. Only after such an agreement more than the usb-typical 5 volts were switched on (if negotiated).

Epr relies on a multiple point of view: with the negotiation of an epr mode, it is only started if both partners have already agreed on a spr connection. Unlike there, both partners also have to continue to talk about the negotiation continuously: if the valley is muted, the source immediately switches off the high voltages and starts with a new spr negotiation at 5 volts. Conversely, a valley can ask for the epr mode at any time by requesting the spr maximum of 20 volts – and then again lower levels. One source then does not have to apply your epr skills to avoid a hub between the two modes.

Extended Power Range: USB-C supplies art up to 240 watts

In epr mode, source and valley must communicate unlike so far permanently together.

Variable voltages

In addition to the fixed voltage levels, there are already long modes in which the voltage may dynamically decrease over time and should. The latter is about for smartphones practically, because the loading of a lithium-ion battery runs at the latest from 80 percent fullstand no longer on a linear. Fit to the charging curve the power adapter by a dynamic delivery, the charging electronics can be less complex in the (in terms of space and abarm) smartphone.

In the well-known spr voltage range, this mode carries the somewhat misleading name pps (programmable power supply). The source can be there on request ("programming") the valley dynamically down the voltage from the respective stepnenn value to up to 3.3 volts. In the epr voltage range, the conceptually identical mode is now called avs (adjustable voltage supply); the lowering is provided down to 15 volts.


The list of companies that employees have turned off for the preparation of usb specifications is reads like the who-is-who of the it industry – so it is clear that the 240-watt expansion of usb-c will be widely used will. Especially with notebooks she is very located to finally get a uniform charging socket for all notebook classes that are also good for furs docking.

The latter is more than self-purpose, so that the manufacturers do not have to develop and hold more power supplies with different plugs. The eu commission is already working on a law that requires a uniform charging cable: you can use power supply and cables independently of the actual device (further), which reduces electronic waste. And away from usb-c we did not know what established socket otherwise injured for this request.

In this respect, the big question mark is that "when": with the completion of the new usb specifications, corresponding charging electronics blocks can now be developed for power supplies and devices – and around them then the actual power supplies and devices. Our belly feel around development cycles says that usb-c will probably take off with more than 100 watt charging power from 2023 correctly. But we will gladly surprise us sooner.

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