Thursday, September 23rd 2021

EU Commission Pushing Forward with Unified Electronics Charger Standard and Unbundling of Chargers

What can only be called a long running drama, the EU has once again put its foot down when it comes to chargers for various consumer electronics devices, although it's mostly about smartphones and regular old mobile phones these days. The whole thing took off some time in 2009, although back then, it was a voluntary effort and according to today's press release by the EU Commission, we're down from 30 to three "competing" standards (micro USB, lightning and USB-C), but apparently that is still not good enough.

As such, the EU Commission has now decided that USB-C is the answer to their prayers and it'll now be an enforced standard for a wide range of devices if they're to be allowed to be sold in the EU. We doubt this will go down well with many device manufacturers, Apple being the obvious one here, even though the company has been slowly transitioning to USB-C on its tablets, none of its phones are using USB-C today. The following device categories are affected: smartphones, tablets, cameras, headphones, portable speakers and handheld video game consoles.

It's unclear as to why the device port has to be USB-C, although a move to USB-C cables for everything does make things simpler, but as long as the charger itself uses USB-C, it's hard to understand why the device end must use USB-C. There's nothing inherently wrong with USB-C, but the USB-C standard is a bit of a mess, even for charging and the EU Commission has a very "loose" proposal here where they're pushing for the USB Power Delivery standard to be the only charging standard allowed over USB-C.

Even USB PD isn't a uniform standard and there are at least four major revisions with multiple minor versions. If we assume the EU Commission goes for USB PD 3.1, then we're looking at a pretty future proof standard that can deliver up to 240 W at 48 V, but this would require different cables than what we're using today. However, if USB PD 3.0 is chosen, then anything that needs more than 100 W at 20 V isn't going to work. Admittedly no smartphone in the world is going to need to be charged at 240 W, but the issue with setting standards like this, is that they tend to filter down, or more likely filter out in this case, to other markets and devices, which means that setting the bar too low, isn't good.

It makes even more sense to go for the most advanced standard when the EU Commission also wants to unbundle the chargers, as it means that your USB PD charger can be used to power many other devices that might have different power requirements from your smartphone or tablet. This appears to be one of the goals here, judging by the amount of different devices the EU Commission already set its sight on, but they might even have limited themselves a bit here, since most laptops can and should be charged over USB-C as well. In fact, Apple is pretty much the pioneer here, which also makes their obsession with keeping the lightning connector on their phones a bit counterintuitive.

Where we're not following the EU Commission's logic is where they claim that as many as 38 percent of consumers are said to have experienced problems with their charges due to incompatibility problems. If anything this seems to suggest that most consumers haven't paid attention to what kind of device they own. On the other hand it also seems crazy that consumers in the EU have spent €2.4 billion per year on buying chargers for their electronics, since they apparently don't always come with chargers. Again, this suggests that consumers aren't paying attention to what they're buying and maybe clearer labelling would solve these problems.

Furthermore, the EU Commission claims that some 11,000 tonnes of e-waste is produced annually from chargers and power adapters that are being thrown away, since they're not compatible with newer devices. This problem could be solved to a degree by moving to USB-C, but as mentioned above, the USB PD standard has also evolved over time, so if you have a USB PD 1.0 charger, it might not be compatible with your new USB PD 3.0 device, as at some point the Voltages changed. One thing that is certain is that there's no such thing as future proof electronics, as it's impossible to predict future requirements, but as technology develops and improves, we sometimes move to entirely different standards that are vastly superior to what came before.

In as much as a common charging standard sounds great, we're not going to see universal chargers, regardless of what the EU Commission is hoping for. This comes down to one simple thing, cost. You can get a 30 W USB PD charger for as little as €10 (sticking with the EU here), which is going to be more than good enough for charging most of the devices in the EU Commission's list, but it's unlikely it'll be powerful enough to charge your laptop or even more demanding smartphones and tablets. A "cheap" 100 W USB PD charger on the other hand will set you back at least €40, although they can often charge multiple devices at once and wouldn't have a problem powering a laptop.

The only thing that is certain is that consumers won't be getting that €5 or €10 the currently bundled charger is worth back from the device makers, since we've already seen some companies that have removed the charger from the box, but seemingly didn't lower the price of their devices with an equivalent amount. This doesn't even take into consideration the reduced weight and volume per unit, which would reduce shipping costs for the device manufacturer.

At the end of the day, this is a tricky subject and although the EU does have some very valid points, it would seem that simply requiring that all chargers use a USB-C port and adhere to the USB PD standard would've been enough, it looks like we're going to see a lot more devices use USB-C ports for charging. This isn't a bad thing as such, but it does feel a bit forced, even though there are some underlying reasons behind it. It's not a done deal yet and things may still change before it becomes a legal requirement.

Photo by By Ilya Plekhanov - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=46517325
Source: The EU Commission
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100 Comments on EU Commission Pushing Forward with Unified Electronics Charger Standard and Unbundling of Chargers

#76
TheLostSwede
Ferrum MasterAre you trying to hit on girls with that flippy flippy ding dong camera?
Trying to avoid bullet holes in my screen...
Posted on Reply
#77
Ferrum Master
TheLostSwedeTrying to avoid bullet holes in my screen...
You can try Xperia 1 mk II or III. I use one too as my secure phone(I have many of them) with authenticators and banking stuff and without any social shit and hey... it has USB3 too, the heck even an audio jack. :D
Posted on Reply
#78
TheLostSwede
Ferrum MasterYou can try Xperia 1 mk II or III. I use one too as my secure phone(I have many of them) with authenticators and banking stuff and without any social shit and hey... it has USB3 too, the heck even an audio jack. :D
Except Sony phones are stupidly expensive here. The 1 III goes for well over US$1,300 here, no way I'm spending that much on a phone. Even the 5 III is close to US$1,100.
Admittedly it's a couple of years old now, but I paid around $600 for the Zenfone 6 when I got it. Had a Nokia 8 (with USB 3.0) prior to it, but they dropped support for it and never launched anything in the same category again (I don't count the 9, as it was POS).
I would actually like something sub 6-inches, but the Zenfone 8 disappointed by dropping the microSD card slot and obviously still using USB 2.0... At least Asus sticks to the USB PD charging standard.
It's getting harder and harder buying phones these days, as I like the "budget flagship" sort of range, but it appears to be dead. And no, I'm not even looking at the PRC brands, sorry.
Oh and yes, an audio jack is a must.
Posted on Reply
#79
Ferrum Master
TheLostSwedeExcept Sony phones are stupidly expensive here. The 1 III goes for well over US$1,300 here, no way I'm spending that much on a phone. Even the 5 III is close to US$1,100.
Admittedly it's a couple of years old now, but I paid around $600 for the Zenfone 6 when I got it. Had a Nokia 8 (with USB 3.0) prior to it, but they dropped support for it and never launched anything in the same category again (I don't count the 9, as it was POS).
It's getting harder and harder buying phones these days, as I like the "budget flagship" sort of range, but it appears to be dead. And no, I'm not even looking at the PRC brands, sorry.
I would never suggest PRC ones... even Xiaomi... they are immature and pretty stupid RMA rule wise, Huawei is pretty much dead, others are even not worth mentioning, they care only in selling the unit and ramping up PR, paying reviewers etc, if you end up needing aftersales service, you are screwed. 5G is rolling out also(at home for me pretty shit 120Mbs dow/20Mbs up), there will be chaos regarding that too. Carriers will not enable it for uncertified devices, well it won't be as bad as with iPhones that have notoriously worst baseband ASIC behavior and carrier network guys hate them with guts.

But with your need to not to have that darn camera hole, you don't have many options left besides Sony. The through the screen cameras are horrid too. Each time opening Fold3 it produces rainbow effect in the opening grid on bright background and nobody writes about it. Maybe ask your relatives to pick up something from listings. Obviously you have to like Sony as they still carry the Ericsson legacy in some things up to this day, they use the same repair tool set and same EMMA software updater, that's best in class and miles above any other manufacturer.

Regarding PRC, exactly those devices are to blame to screwing up the USB implementations, or basically any compatibility rules regarding anything. People don't understand, that cables differ, they have complaints, hey fast charging does not work anymore(sees some 3rd parity cheap cable), the seller told him, that it should work. Nor the seller nor client is smart enough to distinct differences in between those, it is hard to blame, they look all the same in their eyes, because there is small amount of good china cables also. So EU ruling should be harder on regulating the crap coming from PRC, let it be cables, phones or routers.

I am in for more strict rulings... there is too much plastic waste generated and shipping in from Shenzhen.
Posted on Reply
#80
Tardian
Ferrum MasterAsus phones are a joke. We serviced them, after loads of RMA, spare parts coming like 2-3months and defective. You cannot even imagine how immature they are design wise (hint - super glue is an official spare part).

Basically while flashing phones speed hovers around 50-80MB/s via USB3, that's the average mobile NAND write speed.

So... it ain't that bad, if you stick to normal and mature phone manufacturers. If you cheap out you get what you have paid for, as usual so no surprises here.
Expensive is cheap in the long run. MSC
The problem with Phones in my household is the quality of the glass. It appears some Gorillas break after one small fall. USB file transfer has yet to be a problem.
5G can be implemented in low-band, mid-band or high-band millimeter-wave 24 GHz up to 40 GHz. Low-band 5G uses a similar frequency range to 4G cellphones, 600–850 MHz, giving download speeds a little higher than 4G: 30–250 megabits per second (Mbit/s). Low-band cell towers have a range and coverage area similar to 4G towers. Mid-band 5G uses microwaves of 2.5–3.7 GHz, allowing speeds of 100–900 Mbit/s, with each cell tower providing service up to several kilometers in radius. This level of service is the most widely deployed, and was deployed in many metropolitan areas in 2020. Some regions are not implementing the low band, making this the minimum service level. High-band 5G uses frequencies of 25–39 GHz, near the bottom of the millimeter wave band, although higher frequencies may be used in the future. It often achieves download speeds in the gigabit-per-second (Gbit/s) range, comparable to cable internet. However, millimeter waves (mmWave or mmW) have a more limited range, requiring many small cells. They can be impeded or blocked by materials in walls or windows. Due to their higher cost, plans are to deploy these cells only in dense urban environments and areas where crowds of people congregate such as sports stadiums and convention centers. The above speeds are those achieved in actual tests in 2020, and speeds are expected to increase during rollout. The spectrum ranging from 24.25–29.5 GHz has been the most licensed and deployed 5G mmWave spectrum range in the world.
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/5G
5G is coverage needs to improve.

Posted on Reply
#81
Ferrum Master
TardianThe problem with Phones in my household is the quality of the glass. It appears some Gorillas break after one small fall. USB file transfer has yet to be a problem.
If it even were Gorilla in the first place... and that thing is overrated.

Almost nobody bats an eye about that here, everyone does insurance, especially for higher priced units, so YOLO.

Regarding 5G, well, not that I am paying for it anyways, but a nice to have. I have to understand the behavior regarding battery life etc just to be ready for complaints.

There are idiot people who enable eSIM to their smartwatches with around 300mAh battery while working in some office bunker with one bar network strength and heck, my watch holds on for few hours. People do not understand that the radio part and transmission powers are the same as in a phone, yet the battery is 20times less.
Posted on Reply
#82
TheLostSwede
Ferrum MasterI would never suggest PRC ones... even Xiaomi... they are immature and pretty stupid RMA rule wise, Huawei is pretty much dead, others are even not worth mentioning, they care only in selling the unit and ramping up PR, paying reviewers etc, if you end up needing aftersales service, you are screwed. 5G is rolling out also(at home for me pretty shit 120Mbs dow/20Mbs up), there will be chaos regarding that too. Carriers will not enable it for uncertified devices, well it won't be as bad as with iPhones that have notoriously worst baseband ASIC behavior and carrier network guys hate them with guts.

But with your need to not to have that darn camera hole, you don't have many options left besides Sony. The through the screen cameras are horrid too. Each time opening Fold3 it produces rainbow effect in the opening grid on bright background and nobody writes about it. Maybe ask your relatives to pick up something from listings. Obviously you have to like Sony as they still carry the Ericsson legacy in some things up to this day, they use the same repair tool set and same EMMA software updater, that's best in class and miles above any other manufacturer.

Regarding PRC, exactly those devices are to blame to screwing up the USB implementations, or basically any compatibility rules regarding anything. People don't understand, that cables differ, they have complaints, hey fast charging does not work anymore(sees some 3rd parity cheap cable), the seller told him, that it should work. Nor the seller nor client is smart enough to distinct differences in between those, it is hard to blame, they look all the same in their eyes, because there is small amount of good china cables also. So EU ruling should be harder on regulating the crap coming from PRC, let it be cables, phones or routers.

I am in for more strict rulings... there is too much plastic waste generated and shipping in from Shenzhen.
Not really a need, I just find the hole annoying.

And yes, most of the really weird USB things seem to be out of the PRC. Like external drive housings with a USB-A connector, which is against the USB IF rules, as A-A is not allowed.
TardianThe problem with Phones in my household is the quality of the glass. It appears some Gorillas break after one small fall. USB file transfer has yet to be a problem.


5G is coverage needs to improve.

So when will Oz have nationwide 4G coverage?
Posted on Reply
#83
Ferrum Master
TheLostSwedeNot really a need, I just find the hole annoying.

And yes, most of the really weird USB things seem to be out of the PRC. Like external drive housings with a USB-A connector, which is against the USB IF rules, as A-A is not allowed.
I more surprised to see the weird extended USB2 and USB3 bit on external hard drives, Samsung S5 had it too... I hate that connector. I have like only one cable like that in my house and always somewhere buried.

If you get a drive with a Type C... sheesh the price jump...
Posted on Reply
#84
TheLostSwede
Ferrum MasterI more surprised to see the weird extended USB2 and USB3 bit on external hard drives, Samsung S5 had it too... I hate that connector. I have like only one cable like that in my house and always somewhere buried.

If you get a drive with a Type C... sheesh the price jump...
That was sort of a "quick fix" to get USB 3.0 speeds while retaining backwards compatibility with the micro USB connector. I have a memory card reader with that connector and a 3.5-inch WD external drive... Very annoying to get in and out, as it's too wide. For some reason, it's being used on devices that have space for a 3.0 USB-B connector, which is much stronger and easier to use, even if it's another mongrel connector.

I'll leave this here as well...
www.thelondoneconomic.com/business-economics/business/uk-will-have-own-patriotic-plug-reactions-as-eu-common-charger-smartphones-to-cut-e-waste-291945/
Posted on Reply
#85
Tardian
TheLostSwedeNot really a need, I just find the hole annoying.

And yes, most of the really weird USB things seem to be out of the PRC. Like external drive housings with a USB-A connector, which is against the USB IF rules, as A-A is not allowed.


So when will Oz have nationwide 4G coverage?
12th of Never?
Posted on Reply
#86
Valantar
TheLostSwedeThat was sort of a "quick fix" to get USB 3.0 speeds while retaining backwards compatibility with the micro USB connector. I have a memory card reader with that connector and a 3.5-inch WD external drive... Very annoying to get in and out, as it's too wide. For some reason, it's being used on devices that have space for a 3.0 USB-B connector, which is much stronger and easier to use, even if it's another mongrel connector.

I'll leave this here as well...
www.thelondoneconomic.com/business-economics/business/uk-will-have-own-patriotic-plug-reactions-as-eu-common-charger-smartphones-to-cut-e-waste-291945/
Those connectors are also extremely fragile in my experience - more so than regular "narrow" micro-B, likely due to the extreme width-to-height ratio and how this affects leverage. I've avoided those like the plague, including paying ~20% more for USB-C drive enclosures several times. More than worth it IMO. The only time I've had to deal with that nonsense was for a Seagate USB HDD that I shucked. I think I recycled the enclosure, though I did consider using the PCB as a hot-swap HDD caddy at some point. That cable was definitely an argument against that though.
TheLostSwedeLike external drive housings with a USB-A connector, which is against the USB IF rules, as A-A is not allowed.
Those cables being disallowed has saved so much hardware from being fried. It's scary how many times in my retail days I had to explain to people that "no, you can't find an A-A cable and use it to transfer data between two PCs. That will fry one or both USB ports in the best case, one or both PCs in the worst case." The number of people reticent in the face of that explanation was also quite baffling. Understanding the concept of a host/client connector standard is apparently quite difficult. Anyhow, that's a major improvement with USB-C - you can plug it in anywhere, but it's also actively controlled on both ends and will as such just not do anything, rather than fry your devices. And with USB4 we even get Thunderbolt networking by default, which is fantastic. Now all the doofuses can (soon) transfer their data point-to-point without killing their laptops. Progress!
Posted on Reply
#87
TheLostSwede
ValantarThose cables being disallowed has saved so much hardware from being fried. It's scary how many times in my retail days I had to explain to people that "no, you can't find an A-A cable and use it to transfer data between two PCs. That will fry one or both USB ports in the best case, one or both PCs in the worst case." The number of people reticent in the face of that explanation was also quite baffling. Understanding the concept of a host/client connector standard is apparently quite difficult. Anyhow, that's a major improvement with USB-C - you can plug it in anywhere, but it's also actively controlled on both ends and will as such just not do anything, rather than fry your devices. And with USB4 we even get Thunderbolt networking by default, which is fantastic. Now all the doofuses can (soon) transfer their data point-to-point without killing their laptops. Progress!
Some enterprising companies came up with these though, as they make file transfers safe. Never used one.



The issue with USB4 is that it appears that it doesn't have to be TB compatible and TB networking is apparently not supported, it remains proprietary to TB.
Not going to make it easier for consumers for sure. Thank you card to Intel by snail mail.
Posted on Reply
#88
Tardian
TheLostSwedeSome enterprising companies came up with these though, as they make file transfers safe. Never used one.



The issue with USB4 is that it appears that it doesn't have to be TB compatible and TB networking is apparently not supported, it remains proprietary to TB.
Not going to make it easier for consumers for sure. Thank you card to Intel by snail mail.
www.kensington.com/news/docking-connectivity-blog/what-is-intel-vt-d-dma-protection/
At Intel, VT-d means virtualization for technology direct I/O access. If you have ever had to run a virtual machine in your environment, you will get a notice to turn on VT-d in your BIOS before it will work on your machine. DMA means direct memory access and VT-d DMA protection is the process of securing your virtualized access to your machine’s physical memory systems.
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DMA_attack

This may help someone.

BITD I used a USB 2 transfer cable to transfer some mission-critical files to a new computer when USB thumb drives were too expensive, too small, and too slow. These cables were not cheap.
Posted on Reply
#89
Valantar
TheLostSwedeSome enterprising companies came up with these though, as they make file transfers safe. Never used one.



The issue with USB4 is that it appears that it doesn't have to be TB compatible and TB networking is apparently not supported, it remains proprietary to TB.
Not going to make it easier for consumers for sure. Thank you card to Intel by snail mail.
Wow, that sucks. I assumed TB networking followed along with Intel's opening up of the TB3 standard - guess that was a naïve assumption. Makes me hope someone (Microsoft?) could implement an open alternative - everything should be in place for it to work even with 20G USB4, and IMO that is one of the most useful features of these connections - not in quantity/times used, but in utility when it's needed/useful.

And I remember seeing cables like that plugable one, though I don't think I've ever used or sold one. At least it's USB 3.0, so it might even be faster than GbE!
Posted on Reply
#90
TheLostSwede
ValantarWow, that sucks. I assumed TB networking followed along with Intel's opening up of the TB3 standard - guess that was a naïve assumption. Makes me hope someone (Microsoft?) could implement an open alternative - everything should be in place for it to work even with 20G USB4, and IMO that is one of the most useful features of these connections - not in quantity/times used, but in utility when it's needed/useful.

And I remember seeing cables like that plugable one, though I don't think I've ever used or sold one. At least it's USB 3.0, so it might even be faster than GbE!
Yeah well, when it comes to Intel and open standards, never make any assumptions...
Posted on Reply
#91
Batailleuse
i like how the writer has opinions.

why is standard bad ? well imagine back when they invented electric plugs and every single country (or region in a country) having different plugs how the fuck would manufacturer build electric items if they have to make a model per region just to make sure people can plug them. which is why every single fucking electric plug is standardized in EU or US and you only have something like only 4-5 standards total in the world. just like you don't have 100 standard when it comes to alternate electricity output in a given country, and those standards have spread homogeneously in Europe. and to me that is a good thing.

people not "checking" properly their cable like the writer says sure is a thing but then you can't even trust what you buy, quality of USB cable varies too much and very often you end up buying a cable that charge but doesn't do data, or charge very poorly. not everyone wants to spend 30min carefully checking the box of the product and rather would just grab any cable and KNOW FOR SURE that it will work for their phone. which is why this thing is pushed.
Posted on Reply
#92
TheLostSwede
Batailleusei like how the writer has opinions.

why is standard bad ? well imagine back when they invented electric plugs and every single country (or region in a country) having different plugs how the fuck would manufacturer build electric items if they have to make a model per region just to make sure people can plug them. which is why every single fucking electric plug is standardized in EU or US and you only have something like only 4-5 standards total in the world. just like you don't have 100 standard when it comes to alternate electricity output in a given country, and those standards have spread homogeneously in Europe. and to me that is a good thing.

people not "checking" properly their cable like the writer says sure is a thing but then you can't even trust what you buy, quality of USB cable varies too much and very often you end up buying a cable that charge but doesn't do data, or charge very poorly. not everyone wants to spend 30min carefully checking the box of the product and rather would just grab any cable and KNOW FOR SURE that it will work for their phone. which is why this thing is pushed.
I'm not sure where you're from, but the EU has at least eight different plugs and five different sockets and that's not counting Switzerland...
A big country called Denmark decided it was a good idea to have its own plugs and sockets, because why not? It works with all ungrounded EU plugs, but none of the grounded ones.
The Italian has their own plug, but at least that's a really old one, but again doesn't work with grounded plus unless you have a hybrid socket.
The French and Germans came up with different grounding solutions and now the rest of Europe is sort of split between the two, but at least you can get a cable that works with both.

If we count broadly, there's actually no less than 14 different standards for power sockets around the world, as Thailand decided to do their own plugs as well and Brazil made a variant of the IEC 60906-1 standard, which so far only South Africa has adopted. South Korea uses a variant of the CEE7 standard, but it's not identical. Israel also has its own unique plugs and sockets. India and some other ex British colonies (including South Africa) uses the older, rounded pin version of the UK's now square pins. This doesn't take into account higher Amperage sockets which many countries use.

So unfortunately it isn't as few as four or five and it's nothing nearly as homogenous as you thought. In fact, even the earthed US plugs don't work in for example Japan and older buildings in Taiwan, as they don't have earth pins in their sockets and this is why you sometimes find cables with it simply broken off. Some of the US polarised plugs also don't work in older sockets in many countries outside the US, even though 100-115V is used. It should also be pointed out that half of Japan is 50Hz and half is 60Hz, so you can't use many devices made for the US market in parts of Japan and getting a frequency converter is prohibitively expensive for most consumers.

You might wonder why I even know this. Well, I was involved in developing a smart plug at one point and this ended up being something of an issue if it was going to be sold to multiple markets. We only ended up doing an earthed US version.

As for USB-C cables, did you know there's such a thing as a E-Mark chip involved? Anything that requires a charging current of more than 3A is required to feature such a chip in each end of the cable, or the charger can't deliver more than 3A. I would bet that 99.99% of consumers have no idea about this. Also, a lot of the high current cables only do USB 2.0 speeds for data, which I'm sure most people also aren't aware of.

I'm by no means against USB-C becoming a defacto charging standard, but it's a swamp of little hidden sub standards that no normal consumer will be able to work out. As such, I would like to see the EU step in and have clearly defined regulation here, not simply say USB-C with PD. That's open to way too much interpretation and if you read some of the previous comments here, you'll understand why.
Posted on Reply
#94
kanecvr
TheLostSwede. because most laptops don't use USB-C, but you once again can use simple mechanical adapters to make them work with a USB-C charger.
8
No, you can't really... Mechanical connection aside, most laptops need between 15 to 20v and @ 3 to 7.5 amps (75-150w) to run and charge. Performance and gaming laptops usually need 18 to 21v @ 9-18 amps (180 to 350W) to charge and run at full speed. There are some ultrabooks that can charge (albeit slowly) trough the USB-C connector (witch most have by this point) if provided with 25 to 30w of power, but even ultrabooks will need up to 60-75w of power to charge and run at the same time - and I don't know about you, but the largest capacity USB wall charger I could find for sale locally only claims to deliver 50w, while my FA506IV needs 19.5v / 11.8A. Not to mention I highly doubt a USB C connector can safely carry 200-300w without catching fire.

But I do agree that a standard laptop charger plug would be nice, and I personally like the square lenovo connector since it stays firmly in place and due to it's shape it doesn't seem to suffer as much damage over time compared to regular barrel type connectors.
Posted on Reply
#95
TheLostSwede
kanecvrNo, you can't really... Mechanical connection aside, most laptops need between 15 to 20v and @ 3 to 7.5 amps (75-150w) to run and charge. Performance and gaming laptops usually need 18 to 21v @ 9-18 amps (180 to 350W) to charge and run at full speed. There are some ultrabooks that can charge (albeit slowly) trough the USB-C connector (witch most have by this point) if provided with 25 to 30w of power, but even ultrabooks will need up to 60-75w of power to charge and run at the same time - and I don't know about you, but the largest capacity USB wall charger I could find for sale locally only claims to deliver 50w, while my FA506IV needs 19.5v / 11.8A. Not to mention I highly doubt a USB C connector can safely carry 200-300w without catching fire.

But I do agree that a standard laptop charger plug would be nice, and I personally like the square lenovo connector since it stays firmly in place and due to it's shape it doesn't seem to suffer as much damage over time compared to regular barrel type connectors.
Did you read the article at all? Or any of my other comments?
USB PD 3.1 is capable of 48V at 5A or 240W.

There are plenty of 100W USB-C chargers in the market and there are some 200W ones. Just because they're not available in you local shop, doesn't mean they don't exist.
Posted on Reply
#96
Valantar
kanecvrNo, you can't really... Mechanical connection aside, most laptops need between 15 to 20v and @ 3 to 7.5 amps (75-150w) to run and charge. Performance and gaming laptops usually need 18 to 21v @ 9-18 amps (180 to 350W) to charge and run at full speed. There are some ultrabooks that can charge (albeit slowly) trough the USB-C connector (witch most have by this point) if provided with 25 to 30w of power, but even ultrabooks will need up to 60-75w of power to charge and run at the same time - and I don't know about you, but the largest capacity USB wall charger I could find for sale locally only claims to deliver 50w, while my FA506IV needs 19.5v / 11.8A. Not to mention I highly doubt a USB C connector can safely carry 200-300w without catching fire.

But I do agree that a standard laptop charger plug would be nice, and I personally like the square lenovo connector since it stays firmly in place and due to it's shape it doesn't seem to suffer as much damage over time compared to regular barrel type connectors.
As @TheLostSwede said above, you don't seem to have paid much attention. USB-PD has been able to deliver 100W (20V5A) since USB-C charging came to market. It's far less common than 65W and below, but it's certainly not rare. You can find dozens of 100W chargers on Amazon, for example. 45W and 65W PD chargers are near ubiquitous, including generic no-name ones (here's the PD charger selection from a small Swedish chain, ranging from 20W to 100W, mostly generic no-brand units).

As for what you say about "most laptops", that's just plain wrong. The vast majority of laptops use 15W U-series CPUs/APUs, and typically come bundled with 45W chargers (some have 65W ones) - which are perfectly capable of charging the battery while the laptop is in use. It might not charge quickly if you're running a video render, but ... that's expected. A U-series laptop will typically peak above 45W power draw, but that's for short bursts, and thermal and power limits will keep total system power at ~30W or thereabouts including the APU/CPU, SSD, display, and everything else. (Notebookcheck.net covers system power draw in various conditions in their reviews, have a look there if you're curious.) 90W chargers used to be the norm, but that was back when M-series 25+W chips were dominant, which IIRC ended with Sandy Bridge.

And remember, all laptop chargers are rated for continuous output - if it's rated for 45W and sold in a decently regulated market, it can deliver 45W 24/7 in normal ambient temperatures. These charger ratings and laptop power draws have been the norm since long before the advent of USB-C charging. USB-PD 3.1/USB-C 2.1 is capable of delivering up to 240W (which is entirely safe by increasing voltage instead of amperage, though this will require cables rated for the voltage), but is just announced and has yet to come to market, but some companies (like Dell) have been using above-spec/semi-proprietary USB-C chargers before the implementation of USB-PD 3.1. AFAIK the 130W XPS 15 charger is the most prominent example. An XPS 15 will charge just fine with a standard 100W PD charger, though it will of course drain slowly if placed under a full CPU+GPU load - but that's a 45W H-series CPU + ~50W dGPU system. Under desktop usage it's mostly fine even with a 65 or 45W charger, though of course charging will be slower the lower you go, and the threshold for battery drain under load will be lower the lower you go. Still, while USB-C hasn't been suitable for gaming laptops or anything above entry-level dGPU laptops until now, but that's changing too.

USB-PD chargers are also easily converted to power barrel jack chargers, with something like the Innergie Magicable, as long as your laptop runs at ~20V (anything rated from ~18-22V is likely fine with 20V input) and 5A or less.
Posted on Reply
#97
kanecvr
ValantarAs @TheLostSwede said above, you don't seem to have paid much attention. USB-PD has been able to deliver 100W (20V5A) since USB-C charging came to market. It's far less common than 65W and below, but it's certainly not rare. You can find dozens of 100W chargers on Amazon, for example. 45W and 65W PD chargers are near ubiquitous, including generic no-name ones (here's the PD charger selection from a small Swedish chain, ranging from 20W to 100W, mostly generic no-brand units).

As for what you say about "most laptops", that's just plain wrong. The vast majority of laptops use 15W U-series CPUs/APUs, and typically come bundled with 45W chargers (some have 65W ones) - which are perfectly capable of charging the battery while the laptop is in use. It might not charge quickly if you're running a video render, but ... that's expected. A U-series laptop will typically peak above 45W power draw, but that's for short bursts, and thermal and power limits will keep total system power at ~30W or thereabouts including the APU/CPU, SSD, display, and everything else. (Notebookcheck.net covers system power draw in various conditions in their reviews, have a look there if you're curious.) 90W chargers used to be the norm, but that was back when M-series 25+W chips were dominant, which IIRC ended with Sandy Bridge.

And remember, all laptop chargers are rated for continuous output - if it's rated for 45W and sold in a decently regulated market, it can deliver 45W 24/7 in normal ambient temperatures. These charger ratings and laptop power draws have been the norm since long before the advent of USB-C charging. USB-PD 3.1/USB-C 2.1 is capable of delivering up to 240W (which is entirely safe by increasing voltage instead of amperage, though this will require cables rated for the voltage), but is just announced and has yet to come to market, but some companies (like Dell) have been using above-spec/semi-proprietary USB-C chargers before the implementation of USB-PD 3.1. AFAIK the 130W XPS 15 charger is the most prominent example. An XPS 15 will charge just fine with a standard 100W PD charger, though it will of course drain slowly if placed under a full CPU+GPU load - but that's a 45W H-series CPU + ~50W dGPU system. Under desktop usage it's mostly fine even with a 65 or 45W charger, though of course charging will be slower the lower you go, and the threshold for battery drain under load will be lower the lower you go. Still, while USB-C hasn't been suitable for gaming laptops or anything above entry-level dGPU laptops until now, but that's changing too.

USB-PD chargers are also easily converted to power barrel jack chargers, with something like the Innergie Magicable, as long as your laptop runs at ~20V (anything rated from ~18-22V is likely fine with 20V input) and 5A or less.
No, I was paying attention, but apparently I'm a bit behind the times. I said "in my area". Amazon doesn't ship to my country, and most laptops sold here either lack the mini USB-C connector completely or do not support being charged trough said USB port because it is a Standard Downstream Port (SDP) and not a Charging Downstream Port (CDP) witch is required to charge a laptop via USB.

I was specifically referring to the idea of using a mechanical adaptor going from a USB-C charger to a laptop's dedicated charging port, witch will not work simply due to the fact that they require a specific voltage witch the charger and laptop need to handshake upon before charging can begin. Said handshake would require a Charging Downstream Port (CDP) witch according to USB specs uses the data pins to negotiate voltage and amperage, and I am 100% sure a 2 pin barrel type generic charging port on a laptop will not be able to communicate with a USB charger when using a mechanical adaptor. perhaps it's my English, it's not my native language.

As such, only laptops designed to charge trough a usb-c port can do what you are proposing, and only using special USB-C chargers that can provide up to 20V via USB Power Delivery protocol (USB-PD) - like this one: Amazon.com: 65W 45W Universal Laptop Charger USB C Fast Charger,Type C Laptop Power Adapter Laptop Power Supply for Mac Book Pro,Lenovo,Dell,HP,ASUS,Acer,Nintendo Switch and Other Laptops/Smart Phones with USB C : Electronics

In my above comment I was referring to generic USB chargers, like ones used for phones, tablets and other devices, not ones compatible with laptops.

Now back to the part where I WAS WRONG - the USB-C connector with it's tiny prongs can handle up to 100w safely, but the charger and laptop must be specifically compatible and support USB Power Delivery protocol (USB-PD), as said 100w USB-C chargers are designed for laptops an are able to provide up to 20v @ 5A. Just because I don't know about something doesn't mean it doesn't exist. Still, as a consumer who does not make use of ultra portable or low power laptops, this is of little use to me.

Abstract from USB-C documentation:

"SB Power Delivery (USB-PD) refers to the protocol that allows a "power provider," a cable and a "power consumer" to agree on the current and voltage levels. Because power can flow in either direction, the role of provider and consumer can change at any time.

This smart charging protocol enables devices to negotiate voltage, current and direction of power and data flow over the USB cable. Negotiations are governed by power rules and offer a range of voltage and current configurations. For example, a phone needing 18W might negotiate 9V and 3A from the power source."

and

"Do all USB-C ports have the same functionality?
No. Even though all USB-C ports look the same, the features they support can vary widely. For example, a USB-C port on a wall charger will only charge devices. Ports on laptops may vary in the level of power they supply and the speed of data transmission. Some laptop USB-C ports support data only, power only or a combination of the two so check your machine's specifications before buying peripherals."
Posted on Reply
#98
glsn
TheLostSwedeExcept Sony phones are stupidly expensive here. The 1 III goes for well over US$1,300 here, no way I'm spending that much on a phone. Even the 5 III is close to US$1,100.
Admittedly it's a couple of years old now, but I paid around $600 for the Zenfone 6 when I got it. Had a Nokia 8 (with USB 3.0) prior to it, but they dropped support for it and never launched anything in the same category again (I don't count the 9, as it was POS).
I would actually like something sub 6-inches, but the Zenfone 8 disappointed by dropping the microSD card slot and obviously still using USB 2.0... At least Asus sticks to the USB PD charging standard.
It's getting harder and harder buying phones these days, as I like the "budget flagship" sort of range, but it appears to be dead. And no, I'm not even looking at the PRC brands, sorry.
Oh and yes, an audio jack is a must.
there was also one that did cost 2.5k, but hey! it's the only phone that can be used as a display for a camera!

anyway I don't understand wtf are they doing, they can make good devices but if nobody knows you're making phones, kinda pointless; and I doubt selling 2.5k phones to some niche, might support them for a while

also why the fuck is everyone making big phones? can't at least make them slimmer?
Posted on Reply
#99
Valantar
kanecvrNo, I was paying attention, but apparently I'm a bit behind the times. I said "in my area". Amazon doesn't ship to my country, and most laptops sold here either lack the mini USB-C connector completely or do not support being charged trough said USB port because it is a Standard Downstream Port (SDP) and not a Charging Downstream Port (CDP) witch is required to charge a laptop via USB.
I don't know where you are located, but in my experience the vast majority of consumer-facing laptops support USB-C charging, even those that come with bundled barrel plug chargers (those are cheaper, and are used on lower-cost devices mainly). This is of course only for devices using <100W chargers, but that's the vast majority of laptops, and has been for most of the past decade.
kanecvrI was specifically referring to the idea of using a mechanical adaptor going from a USB-C charger to a laptop's dedicated charging port, witch will not work simply due to the fact that they require a specific voltage witch the charger and laptop need to handshake upon before charging can begin. Said handshake would require a Charging Downstream Port (CDP) witch according to USB specs uses the data pins to negotiate voltage and amperage, and I am 100% sure a 2 pin barrel type generic charging port on a laptop will not be able to communicate with a USB charger when using a mechanical adaptor. perhaps it's my English, it's not my native language.
This is wrong. All you need to adapt a USB-C PD charger to a barrel plug charger is a PD negotiator board, which are freely available. For DIY purposes these can be found on Ebay or similar places for a few dollars, whether at fixed or user-definable voltage, and they are generally small enough to integrate into any chassis or cable adapter. I've used several of these (both fixed and variable voltage) with good results - they are incredibly useful. For those not wanting to go the DIY route, you have things like the Innergie MagiCableI linked previously, which has a PD negotiator board (set to 20V) integrated into the cable, and different tips to fit different barrel plug laptops just like an ordinary third party laptop charger. You also get generic direct plug adaptors like this, integrating the negotiator board into the plug assembly. The term "mechanical adaptor" might be a bit off as there are active electronics involved, but given the size and cost of these negotiator boards, that is effectively what it is. You literally wouldn't notice that it was there in most adaptor cables, and most consumers definitely wouldn't have a clue.
kanecvrAs such, only laptops designed to charge trough a usb-c port can do what you are proposing,
No; see above.
kanecvrand only using special USB-C chargers that can provide up to 20V via USB Power Delivery protocol (USB-PD) - like this one: Amazon.com: 65W 45W Universal Laptop Charger USB C Fast Charger,Type C Laptop Power Adapter Laptop Power Supply for Mac Book Pro,Lenovo,Dell,HP,ASUS,Acer,Nintendo Switch and Other Laptops/Smart Phones with USB C : Electronics
These are not "special" chargers. They are USB-PD chargers. Every USB-C laptop charger in existence is a USB-PD charger. Many phone chargers are too, but they (obviously) aren't typically powerful enough to charge a laptop - most of them peak at 9V (some at 15V) around 3A, and thus won't successfully charge a laptop. But that doesn't make USB-C laptop chargers "special", it just makes them more powerful. As I linked previously, there are dozens upon dozens of third party USB-C laptop chargers to be found, as well as many first-party options from laptop manufacturers. One thing I noticed from your search term in your link ("usb c laptop charger 65W") was that it mainly returned fixed-cable chargers, which gives you the best prices but also the cheapest and lowest quality chargers. For practicality and long-term serviceability I personally wouldn't want a charger where I couldn't replace the cable, which any search for something like "USB-C PD 65W Charger" will give you tons of options for. Both types should do the same job equally well though, assuming they are made decently - the inner workings are likely to be quite similar.
kanecvrIn my above comment I was referring to generic USB chargers, like ones used for phones, tablets and other devices, not ones compatible with laptops.
But why were you discussing those? This thread is about the unification of charging standards into adopting USB-C PD for everything. You were responding to a comment saying you could adapt USB-C chargers to barrel plug laptops relatively easily. It stands to reason that this only applies to USB-C chargers that are capable of charging a laptop in the first place.
kanecvrNow back to the part where I WAS WRONG - the USB-C connector with it's tiny prongs can handle up to 100w safely, but the charger and laptop must be specifically compatible and support USB Power Delivery protocol (USB-PD), as said 100w USB-C chargers are designed for laptops an are able to provide up to 20v @ 5A. Just because I don't know about something doesn't mean it doesn't exist. Still, as a consumer who does not make use of ultra portable or low power laptops, this is of little use to me.
Well, that places you in a clear minority - the vast majority of laptops made and sold are thin-and-lights or similar low power designs with U-series CPUs and 45-65W chargers, and the vast majority of those today use USB-C charging. Gaming laptops and workstations are typically too power hungry for this - for now. In the future, thanks to USB-C 2.1/USB-PD 3.1, most higher power laptops up to 240W will also likely adopt USB-PD charging - though they will of course require a high output charger to charge/run at full speed.
kanecvrAbstract from USB-C documentation:

"SB Power Delivery (USB-PD) refers to the protocol that allows a "power provider," a cable and a "power consumer" to agree on the current and voltage levels. Because power can flow in either direction, the role of provider and consumer can change at any time.

This smart charging protocol enables devices to negotiate voltage, current and direction of power and data flow over the USB cable. Negotiations are governed by power rules and offer a range of voltage and current configurations. For example, a phone needing 18W might negotiate 9V and 3A from the power source."

and

"Do all USB-C ports have the same functionality?
No. Even though all USB-C ports look the same, the features they support can vary widely. For example, a USB-C port on a wall charger will only charge devices. Ports on laptops may vary in the level of power they supply and the speed of data transmission. Some laptop USB-C ports support data only, power only or a combination of the two so check your machine's specifications before buying peripherals."
Yes. This is literally what this entire thread is about. You're not bringing anything new to the table here. Different devices and chargers have different requirements and capabilities. This is about mandating universal adoption of the same type of charger for all devices that can use it (i.e. not those too powerful to do so). It doesn't mean every charger needs to be capable of charging a laptop, or anything like that. But it will ensure standardization, easier access to replacements, reduced waste, and better interoperability.
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