What is USB Quick Charge?

As the capacity of smartphone batteries was increasing, it was getting difficult for manufacturers to charge devices quickly with old 7.5-watt chargers. Many modern smartphones were coming with hardware that was consuming huge amounts of power. You can wholesale affordable USB charger from ByteCable.

To solve this issue, the Quick Charge protocol was introduced in the industry by Qualcomm in the year 2013. It helped in charging batteries at a faster rate than standard USB chargers, whose output voltage was restricted to 7.5 watts.

Although there were many other fast charging protocols in the market, smartphone manufacturers were quick to adopt the Quick Charge charging protocol as most of the smartphones are based on Qualcomm Snapdragon SoCs.

With increasing the need for fast charging, Quick Charge came with a different version that not only increased the wattage but also added modern features and enhanced the charging efficiency.

In this article, we are going to discuss Qualcomm’s Quick Charge, the different versions it has on offer, and what the future holds for it.

USB Quick Charge

Quick Charge is a fast charging protocol developed by Qualcomm, and it was introduced to charge devices faster than standard USB chargers. Back in 2013, it was first introduced in the industry and with the first version, it offered 10-watt output which was a significant boost from the old 7.5-watt USB Battery Charging protocol.

It increased the voltage in such a way that it could produce more wattage but without causing overheating of the wire in the USB and maintaining proper safety. Since most smartphone manufacturers used Qualcomm Snapdragon SoCs, it quickly became a popular fast-charging technology in the Android market.

Importantly, smartphone manufacturers were able to integrate new features and support for Quick Charge because Qualcomm designed the chip accordingly. However, with the arrival of Quick Charge, many smartphone manufacturers came new fast charging protocols came into competition, including MediaTek Pump Express and Oppo VOOC.

But still, they used Quick Charge as the secondary fast charging option because it has a high charging efficiency and compatibility.

Even though USB 3.0 was introduced before the arrival of Quick Charge, it still could only handle 0.9A at maximum. Even the USB Battery Charging protocol with its 7.5-watt output could manage 1.5A at 5V, but Quick Charge made the breakthrough with its first generation.

At 5V, it was able to generate 2A of current and was able to charge smartphones in a shorter time safely. Through the mid-2010s, Quick Charge was able to capture a significant market share as most smartphones were running on Snapdragon 600 SoC, and it supported the charging specification.

It was a go-to choice for most Android Smartphone makers, but the limitation many makers faced was that they had to pay a licensing fee to use the technology.

Moreover, smartphones with the Qualcomm chip could only utilize this fast charging technology, so gradually, with the arrival of USB PD, it lost a large amount of market as USB PD had limited drawbacks.

However, with the arrival of newer versions of Quick Charge and brands utilizing Snapdragons SoCs in their smartphone, this charging technology is still widely used. Whether it is Samsung, Oppo, Motorola, or any other brand, you will find Quick Charge in the charger of many modern smartphones.

Different Version Of Quick Charge

After the arrival of Quick Charge in the year 2013, it gradually evolved with time. To date, Qualcomm has come up with five different versions of this fast-charging technology, and each version made a major improvement in the power output.

Not only that, but it also brought up new technologies that made charging much more efficient. So let’s look at all the version of Quick Charge;

Quick Charge 1.0

QC 1.0 is the first generation of the Quick Charge protocol, and with Snapdragon 600 SoCs, it introduced a better charging capability. It was able to achieve 2 amps with 5V, thus allowing smartphones to charge at 10-watt, which was faster than USB Battery Charging’s 7.5-watt.

It set a benchmark for other fast-charging technology and compelled other manufacturers to improve power output level.

At that time, many smartphones used Snapdragon SoCs, so it was supported by a large number of devices, including Nexus 4 and Galaxy S3.

Quick Charge 2.0

With the increasing demand for fast charging for smartphones, Qualcomm came up with Quick Charge 2.0. It made a significant improvement in charging devices because it introduced a new charging method where it increased the charging voltage by more than 5V.

It wasn’t feasible to increase the current as it would cause overheating, so enhanced voltage was the best choice. QC 2.0 offered a power output of 18-watt by providing varied 5V, 9V, and 12V power options, and this helped charge smartphones at a faster rate.

Even though there are two charging variations, most chargers opted for 9V and 2A combinations using USB 2.0.

Quick Charge 3.0

After the arrival of QC 2.0, Qualcomm also introduced QC 3.0 after a year. The QC 3.0 paved the path for new-age fast charging technology as it allowed chargers to offer varying voltage levels.

It offered a voltage level between 3.6V and 12V and a current option of 2A or 3A, depending upon the USB cable and connector. From QC 2.0, it offered a significant upgrade in the power output as it was able to achieve 36-watt using 12V and 3A combinations.

This new iteration also improved power delivery efficiency and curbed overheating. However, the improvement in power efficiency was possible due to the introduction of INOV, which helped the charger to deliver the exact voltage required. Besides, QC 3.0 also brought Battery Saver technology, HVDCP+, and Dual Chage++.

Quick Charge 4.0

QC 4.0 came into the industry in 2017, and it came up with a radical improvement from the previous version.

It made an improvement in the variable voltage level by introducing a new voltage range between 3.3V and 20V. However, the major highlight was its compatibility with USB PD specification, and it helped QC to achieve a maximum power of 100 watts.

Due to its high power, it was able to charge smartphones up to 50% within 15 minutes. After a few months, Qualcomm also introduced QC 4 +, which made some minor improvements in QC 4.0. It made Quick Charge 4.0 backward compatible with QC 3.0 and 2.0.

It introduced Advanced Safety Features and Intelligent Thermal technology, and they ensured protection against overheating and negating hot spots in the USB-C connector. Dual Charge ++ was mandatory in this version, which enhanced not only charging speed but also reduced the temperature.

Quick Charge 5.0

Quick Charge 5.0 is the latest iteration that came in 2020, and it was able to achieve a maximum power of 100 watts. According to Qualcomm, QC 5.0 can charge your smartphone up to 50% within 5 minutes through a compatible USB-C cable.

However, the main highlight of this version is its compatibility with USB PD Programmable Power Supply. It is a variable voltage technology that is widely supported by different types of devices. QC 5.0 is available with Snapdragon 888, 8 Gen 1, 8+ Gen 1, and 888+ SoCs.

Benefits of Quick Charge At A Glance

Here are some highlighting benefits that you will enjoy if you opt for Quick Charge fast-charging technology to charge your smartphone;

  • Quick Charge offers a super fast charging option for smartphones based on the Android platform. It has a max power output of 100 watts, so it can quickly charge even the most power-hungry phone up to 50% in less than 10 minutes.
  • It introduced numerous technologies that ensured optimum charging efficiency. Moreover, it offered various safety features like protection from short circuits, elimination hotspot, and reduced overheating.
  • It offered a variable voltage range ranging from 3.3V and going all over up to 20V. The wide range of voltage options helped in catering to the exact power needs of various smartphones.
  • Backward compatibility is another significant advantage of Quick Charger, as the latest QC versions are compatible with older versions. Moreover, Quick Charger is compatible with USB PD, which allows it to have wider acceptance.
  • Quick Charge protocol is compatible with most USB connectors in the industry. Ranging USB A, micro USB to USB C, Quick Charge works with most smartphone connectors. It is also compatible with some device-specific connectors.

Bottom Line

Quick Charge is one of the most efficient fast-charging technologies available in the market. Even though its popularity has decreased due to competition from USB PD, SuperVOOC, and other fast-charging technologies, it still serves as a safe choice. It also supports USB PD and PPS, and this factor has manufacturers to utilize to charge many modern smartphones, tablets, and laptops. Although it may not be able to beat the widespread acceptance of USB PD, it still serves as a conventional choice for most smartphones.

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