In May, the USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF) announced an update to allow the standard USB-C support power of up to 240 W. That’s great! But there is a problem: it is not every USB-C cable that works with this capability. To reduce the risk of confusion, the entity announced a set of certification stamps that allows consumers to know what type of cable they are buying.
The USB-C standard has emerged to bring a number of conveniences: the connector is reversible (does not have a right side to be docked), the reduced size allows its implementation in compact devices and technologies such as Thunderbolt 4 and DisplayPort are compatible.
In addition, usb-c is designed to support power supply and data sending. The problems start here: the USB-C cables available on the market follow different specifications for data transmission or power.
With the update that allows a USB-C cable to work up to 240 W —against the current 100W limit—confusion about choosing the right cable tends to increase. To resolve the issue —or at least try—, USB-IF created the following seals:
One indicates that the cable has been certified for USB4 and therefore can transmit data up to 40 Gb/s (gigabits per second); Here, the default power is 60 W. Another indicates that the cable has been certified to work with up to 240 W. Note that both are accompanied by two alternative and simplified symbols to be used on cables or ports.
There is a third seal, also with a simplified alternative, which indicates that the USB-C cable has been certified to support both 40 Gb/s data and 240 W charging.
Finally, USB-IF has presented a seal indicating that a charger (not the cable itself) has been certified to work with 240 W.
Note that only products that pass USB-IF certification can display these logos.
The revision announced by USB-IF received the USB-C 2.1 ID. With it, nothing changes in the connector. In return, a cable of the type brings support to the Extended Power Range (EPR): No, it is not a new season of that series, but the specification that increases cable support from 100 W (20 V and 5 A) to 240 W (48 V and 5 A).
Today, several notebooks have USB-C compatible power supply. See the example of Dell XP 13 2021, which recently went through Tecnoblog.
The use of USB-C for this purpose is not only greater because many devices have a high power consumption standard —such as gamer notebooks—and therefore the 100 W limit turns out not to be suitable for them. USB-C 2.1 should significantly mitigate this problem.