Since the first arrival of USB in the market, USB has come a long way and has introduced many protocols along the way. All the tech companies associated with USB-IF have worked collaboratively to bring out new features and technologies with every version of USB.
USB has not only evolved from delivering data at mere speed, but it has also improved its power supply capability. Previously it only had limited charging capabilities, but with improvements in technology and capabilities, it has become the main source of power for many devices.
From smartphones, tablets, and wireless headphones to laptops, portable printers, and docking stations, USB has become the main power socket for all these modern devices. It has been partly possible due to the arrival of USB Power Delivery technology in USB chargers.
This technology has allowed devices to utilize the maximum functionality of USB and charge by utilizing the maximum power of 100 watts.
So without further ado, it is time to get into all the details regarding USB Power Delivery;
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USB Power Delivery
USB Power Delivery is a new age fast charging technology that is based on the USB C standard, and it can deliver USB charging up to 100 watts. It ensures not only super fast charging but also a safe and flexible power delivery over a compliant USB-C cable while connected to a USB-C port or similar.
Previously, users had to use separate adapters to charge their devices, but the arrival of USB PD helped users in avoiding this hassle. Now, you can use just one full-featured USB-C cable to charge or power a wide variety of devices.
By making USB PD compatible with most devices, the makers want to create a USB ecosystem where every device can be charged using a single cable and reap the benefit of USB power delivery.
Besides transitioning users to a USB-C or Thunderbolt cable for charging their phones, laptops, or headphones, it also helped in reducing e-waste and confusion of using multiple cables. USB PD was first introduced in 2012, along with the arrival of the USB-C port, but it was hardly supported by the brand.
But as USB-C started advancing, manufacturers understood the benefits of USB-C in their devices, and that is how USB PD was made compatible with most devices. However, a standard USB PD is not all about delivering a maximum power of 100 watts but also efficiently delivering the required power to USB devices.
USB PD-compatible devices negotiate with the system about the amount of power required, and it will charge accordingly. Moreover, the power delivery is bidirectional so that both devices can supply the required charge. In general, USB-C PD cables have an output of 5V at 3.0A, but the highest it can go up to 5.0A current depending upon the need.
Benefits of USB Power Delivery
Without a doubt, USB PD serves as an obvious choice for most manufacturers and users because they can use USB-C cables to charge devices quickly. However, there are more benefits to USB PD than meets the eye. Here we will take a look at all the benefits that USB PD has on offer;
Increased Power Level
The main reason that most users and manufacturers are utilizing USB PD for charging purposes is due to the increased power level. A full-featured USB-C cable can deliver power up to 100 watts, which makes it suitable for charging devices at a faster rate.
Due to the high power delivery, it is able to charge smartphones, tablets, peripherals, etc, up to 70% faster than standard USB charging units. Previously USB 3.2 were able to deliver a maximum power of 7.5 while a standard USB-C could only deliver 15-watt at max.
Moreover, they weren’t suitable for charging large devices like laptops and printers. However, the arrival of USB PD with a C-Type port revolutionized everything, and now it has become a standard for large devices also.
Intelligent Power Management Using Handshake Method
USB PD utilizes intelligent power management, which enables it to deliver the necessary amount of power needed for a device.
This technology performs a handshake with every device that gets connected to it and asks for the total amount of power needed to charge it.
This feature helps ensure that none of the devices are overcharged and also allows users to utilize USB PD to charge small peripherals like headsets and smart wearables. Portable devices don’t utilize the added power, but it helps in connecting large devices.
Bidirectional Power Delivery
Another great thing that made manufacturers opt for USB PD technology is the bidirectional power delivery. Unlike previous USB protocols, where power could flow in one direction only but with a USB PD facility, both devices can be charged.
It has helped devices with power in delivering power to peripherals or hosts with which it is connected. Due to this, you can easily connect your laptop to a hard disk or printer without needing to power them separately. You can even use a power bank to charge peripheral devices and laptops through USB-C ports.
Is USB Power Delivery Technology Safe For Usage?
According to USB-IF and various proven reports, USB Power Delivery is completely safe for usage. They are equipped with an advanced power management system which enables them to deliver the right amount of power needed by the device.
Through handshake technology and using the right cable, the charger recognizes the device and asks for the required power. Due to this, not only USB PD delivers the right amount of power, but it also charges the devices quickly.
However, it is recommended to use the right cable and USB PD-supported devices; otherwise, you won’t be able to reap all the benefits. Moreover, if you don’t use full featured USB C cable, then it can cause overheating due to the high flow of current.
USB Power Delivery: The Future
USB Power Delivery is the future of charging devices, and USB-IF is already making efforts to make it a standard choice. With USB Power Delivery, users can charge a wide variety of devices from small to big using one cable, and that too without compromising on the charging speed.
Moreover, different devices can share power with each other when connected and keep themselves running without requiring external power. With the arrival of PD in USB-C, things got interesting as it is able to utilize 100-watt charging.
But recently, USB PD came with Revision 3.1 Extended Power Range update, which changed how we charge our device. With this update, it has enabled USB PD to deliver power up to a whopping 240 watts over a full-featured USB Type C cable.
With the release of the USB PD update, USB Type C specification has also been updated. This update will not only expand the usage of USB Type C but will also expand the application of USB PD for charging large devices.
The update has also paved the way for intermediate fixed voltages like 28V and 36V to enable power delivery of 140-watt and 180-watt. The 240-watt power delivery will not make USB PD go one stop in becoming a standard charging option, but it will also help charge the most power-hungry laptops.
In the future, manufacturers will make more types of USB PD chargers with faster speeds, such as ByteCable from China.