Tuesday, June 7th 2022

USB Type-C to Become Mandatory Charging Port in the European Union

Lawmakers in the European Union have formally agreed to make USB Type-C the standard charging port in the union and although there are still a couple of minor hurdles ahead of it becoming a legal requirement, it's expected to be a requirement by the autumn of 2024. For it to become EU wide legislation, the EU parliament and Council still needs to approve the new law, but considering all sides seem to have largely agreed on the details, this is said to be largely formality at this point. However, the new law isn't just about making USB-C the standard used for charging mobile phones, tablets and other types of portable electronics, including laptops, but it also covers chargers and this is where things get a bit tricky.

The EU is legislating for what it calls a "harmonised fast-charging technology", which means that proprietary fast charging technologies might be out. The USB Power Delivery standard already supports fast charging, but it's still limited compared to some of the proprietary charging standards that are coming out of China, where some companies offer a full charge in 15 minutes. This may in itself not be that big of a deal, as all of these standards still use USB-C connectors and can rely on USB PD as a fallback charging method, but the EU also wants to unbundle chargers from devices. This means that any device that requires a proprietary charger to reach its optimal charging performance, will require consumers to buy a charger that used to come bundled with said device. This might not be a major hassle, but it's still an inconvenience in those cases and it's likely this will lead to higher prices for some products as well.
The new rules will have a 24 month grace period for all devices, except laptops, which will be given a 40 month grace period. There's a simple reason for this, the EU is expecting laptops to use USB PD 3.1, which allow for 100 to 240 W power adapters, which is more in line with what higher-end laptops are using. Many laptops that lack a discrete graphics chip, or have a lower-end discrete graphics chip already rely on USB PD 3.0 for charging and the recently launched MacBook Air only ships with a 35 W adapter as an example. Most thin and light notebooks rely on a 65 W adapter, but there are also desktop replacement laptops that use 300 W plus adapters, so it'll be interesting to see how the notebook manufacturers deal with such devices down the road.
Sources: The European Parliament, via the Verge
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54 Comments on USB Type-C to Become Mandatory Charging Port in the European Union

#1
Durvelle27
The US should do the same thing. I'm sick of having different cables for my devices
Posted on Reply
#2
TheLostSwede
Durvelle27The US should do the same thing. I'm sick of having different cables for my devices
It's likely that this will be the push that's needed to get most manufacturers to shift to USB-C regardless. It's too expensive to develop multiple product SKUs with different charging standards.

One slight annoyance I found, is that USB PD devices ignore older charging standards and default back to USB CC, which means 5V and 1-1.5A. Got a new phone and had to buy new chargers, it would've taken half a day to charge the phone.
Posted on Reply
#3
bonehead123
TheLostSwedeIt's likely that this will be the push that's needed to get most manufacturers to shift to USB-C regardless. It's too expensive to develop multiple product SKUs with different charging standards.
Well, the costs has never seemed to be an issue before, but if/when this shift does occur here in the US, regardless of why, I'm pretty sure we will be hearing a very loud, collective "FINALLY" from an extremely large percentage of the tech consumers here...

And I will be the very 1st one to cheer it on, as I have always been thoroughly disgusted with the garbaggio assortment of cable & charger connectors needed for various devices....

I would think that standardization would allow for reduced costs, both in device R&D and production, which should get passed on to the end users (us) but I seriously doubt that the insatiable greed-mongering mfgr's would ever allow that to happen :(

DIE USB A, B, micro, mini, lightning etc.. just friggin die already :D
Posted on Reply
#4
Chaitanya
USB is a mess electrically and now making it single standard is putting users who are unaware of cables at risk of fires(at worst).
Posted on Reply
#5
TheUn4seen
USB-C is just a connector and the PD standard is a mess, as all USB-IF standards are. Several pre-set voltages plus an adjustable option, several negotiation modes, bi- and uni- directional modes, not to mention a myriad of other crap going through the same cable - or a cable which just looks the same. I know the logic here, they want to make this trash heap into an all-in-one standard, but for now it's just chaos.

Also: Nice, but who cares? I haven't seen a device not using either USB-C or microUSB for charging in quite a while. I'm not counting Apple's rubbish, those are just toys for "special" snowflakes. They are proud of spending money on proprietary junk so let them rot in their walled garden. But even if you count them, you only need two cables to cover almost all reasonably modern devices.

I'm all for standardization, but the USB-IF seemingly can't tidy up their own mess. So, which standard will be the standard?
USB Power Delivery Rev. 1.0 (V. 1.0),
USB Power Delivery Rev. 1.0 (V. 1.3).
USB Power Delivery Rev. 2.0 (V. 1.0),
USB Power Delivery Rev. 2.0 (V. 1.2),
USB Power Delivery Rev. 2.0 (V. 1.3),
USB Power Delivery Rev. 3.0 (V. 1.0),
USB Power Delivery Rev. 3.0 (V. 1.1),
USB Power Delivery Rev. 3.0 (V. 1.2),
USB Power Delivery Rev. 3.0 (V. 2.0),
USB Power Delivery Rev. 3.1 (V. 1.0),
USB Power Delivery Rev. 3.1 (V. 1.1),
USB Power Delivery Rev. 3.1 (V. 1.2)

None of them is considered EOL, most have similar power delivery ability - aside from 3.1 adding higher power device support.

"I'm sorry, my charger only supports USB Power Delivery Rev. 3.0 (V. 2.0) specification and your cable is only wired for data transfer in accordance with USB 3.2 Gen 2×1, also known as SuperSpeed USB 10Gbps, it cannot be used for charging beyond Multi-lane SuperSpeed power delivery standard which of only 5V 1.5A". What a wonderfully "harmonised" times lie ahead.
Posted on Reply
#6
HairyLobsters
Kind of weird to see countries enforcing a specific port on devices.
Posted on Reply
#7
TheLostSwede
ChaitanyaUSB is a mess electrically and now making it single standard is putting users who are unaware of cables at risk of fires(at worst).
Well, USB-C fixes all that and there should be zero risk of fires, as if the cable doesn't have an e-marker chip, it won't deliver more than 5V.
TheUn4seenUSB-C is just a connector and the PD standard is a mess, as all USB-IF standards are. Several pre-set voltages plus an adjustable option, several negotiation modes, bi- and uni- directional modes, not to mention a myriad of other crap going through the same cable - or a cable which just looks the same. I know the logic here, they want to make this trash heap into an all-in-one standard, but for now it's just chaos.

Also: Nice, but who cares? I haven't seen a device not using either USB-C or microUSB for charging in quite a while. I'm not counting Apple's rubbish, those are just toys for "special" snowflakes. They are proud of spending money on proprietary junk so let them rot in their walled garden. But even if you count them, you only need two cables to cover almost all reasonably modern devices.

I'm all for standardization, but the USB-IF seemingly can't tidy up their own mess. So, which standard will be the standard?
USB Power Delivery Rev. 1.0 (V. 1.0),
USB Power Delivery Rev. 1.0 (V. 1.3).
USB Power Delivery Rev. 2.0 (V. 1.0),
USB Power Delivery Rev. 2.0 (V. 1.2),
USB Power Delivery Rev. 2.0 (V. 1.3),
USB Power Delivery Rev. 3.0 (V. 1.0),
USB Power Delivery Rev. 3.0 (V. 1.1),
USB Power Delivery Rev. 3.0 (V. 1.2),
USB Power Delivery Rev. 3.0 (V. 2.0),
USB Power Delivery Rev. 3.1 (V. 1.0),
USB Power Delivery Rev. 3.1 (V. 1.1),
USB Power Delivery Rev. 3.1 (V. 1.2)

None of them is considered EOL, most have similar power delivery ability - aside from 3.1 adding higher power device support.

"I'm sorry, my charger only supports USB Power Delivery Rev. 3.0 (V. 2.0) specification and your cable is only wired for data transfer in accordance with USB 3.2 Gen 2×1, also known as SuperSpeed USB 10Gbps, it cannot be used for charging beyond Multi-lane SuperSpeed power delivery standard which of only 5V 1.5A". What a wonderfully "harmonised" times lie ahead.
It seems like we're going to end up with PD 3.0 as the baseline, not sure how much the revisions matter.
The adjustable option only applies to PD 3.1 from what I understand.
The charging bit is fairly straight forward in most cases, but yes, not always, but most people don't use their monitor as a charger.
PD 3.1 will be the standard for laptops as mentioned, since PD 3.0 doesn't deliver enough power in some cases.
PD 1.0 and 2.0 should be EOL as far as no new devices will support either standard, but many chargers are backwards compatible.

I think you're being a bit silly, as even the most basic USB 2.0 cables can be used for charging, albeit not at full speed in all cases. The e-marker chips are implemented for safety reasons and it's actually more likely that you'll end up with a 65 or 100 W charging capable cable that does USB 2.0 data speeds, than a SuperSpeed data cable that can't do high power charging.
HairyLobstersKind of weird to see countries enforcing a specific port on devices.
Well, the EU decided that a lot of electronic waste is being produced by using a bunch of different standards, which is at least partially true. They did actually leave it up to the device makers to agree, but in the end, it was decided that the device makers were moving too slowly and thus, here we are.
Posted on Reply
#8
RedBear
TheLostSwedeThey did actually leave it up to the device makers to agree, but in the end, it was decided that the device makers were moving too slowly and thus, here we are.
Were they actually moving too slowly? Nearly every new smartphone uses a Type C charging port nowadays, the big exception was Apple. Introducing a regulation that will make it more difficult to introduce actual innovation just to punish a single company that dragged its feet looks pretty irrational to me, as much as I dislike Apple and its shenanigans.
Posted on Reply
#9
zlobby
Ironcially, they chose the most messed up standard. Is it a PD? If so, how many watts? Is it an alt-mode? Is it 3.0? Is it 3.1? Is it 3.1 Gen 1 or Gen 2?

At this point I'm not sure if Lightning connector or Thunderbolt aren't better.

Edit: didn't see @TheUn4seen post.
Posted on Reply
#10
TheLostSwede
RedBearWere they actually moving too slowly? Nearly every new smartphone uses a Type C charging port nowadays, the big exception was Apple. Introducing a regulation that will make it more difficult to introduce actual innovation just to punish a single company that dragged its feet looks pretty irrational to me, as much as I dislike Apple and its shenanigans.
This is about a lot more than phones though, as it applies to all kinds of portable electronics from tablets to speakers and cameras.
Keep in mind that this isn't fixed for eternity, it's the standard until something better is developed, which will happen in due course, but it also means that the big electronics companies that come up with new interfaces, are going to be forced to work together to come up with next, better thing.
Posted on Reply
#11
mechtech
bonehead123Well, the costs has never seemed to be an issue before, but if/when this shift does occur here in the US, regardless of why, I'm pretty sure we will be hearing a very loud, collective "FINALLY" from an extremely large percentage of the tech consumers here...

And I will be the very 1st one to cheer it on, as I have always been thoroughly disgusted with the garbaggio assortment of cable & charger connectors needed for various devices....

I would think that standardization would allow for reduced costs, both in device R&D and production, which should get passed on to the end users (us) but I seriously doubt that the insatiable greed-mongering mfgr's would ever allow that to happen :(

DIE USB A, B, micro, mini, lightning etc.. just friggin die already :D
Ya. Apple is probably crying or planning a lawsuit or something at the moment. ;)
Posted on Reply
#12
TheLostSwede
zlobbyIroncially, they chose the most messed up standard. Is it a PD? If so, how many watts? Is it an alt-mode? Is it 3.0? Is it 3.1? Is it 3.1 Gen 1 or Gen 2?

At this point I'm not sure if Lightning connector or Thunderbolt aren't better.
The data speed has nothing to do with charging.
PD 3.0 appears to be what they've gone for when it comes to everything except laptops, which is PD 3.1 based on the information provided.
mechtechYa. Apple is probably crying or planning a lawsuit or something at the moment. ;)
Apple is somehow expected to drop the port entirely, in favour of wireless charging, which the EU is also about to regulate.
Posted on Reply
#13
Bomby569
I just commented today on this exact thing, and people were saying it was far from becoming a thing, this was some crazy timming.

I'm glad this is happening, more then anything, e-waste is out of control. And having a standard is always best for consumers.
TheLostSwedeApple is somehow expected to drop the port entirely, in favour of wireless charging, which the EU is also about to regulate.
don't tell me Apple is preparing a proprietary fast charging device/tech/... with wireless dongles :D
Posted on Reply
#14
Dr_b_
The will become defacto law in the US now because apple isnt going to make multiple devices for different markets as large as the EU and US, thankfully. Ipad Pro already has USB-C, the phones are just lagging behind, wonder if it would have happened anyway, but its nice to see this. Now, how about laws mandating right to repair
Posted on Reply
#15
Chrispy_
This is great news because all it really means is that the physical connector is becoming a standard and we can finally phase out the multitude of proprietary crappy cables.
Yes, USB will continue to evolve and improve but the physical connector is:
  • Robust and designed to wear/fail on the cheap cable side, not the expensive device side
  • Redundant in its connector design
  • Slim and reversible
  • Capable of significant power delivery
  • Relatively cheap
At a most basic level, you'll be able to find a cable that works, even if it's only for a slow charge or pathetic USB 2.0 480Mb/s speeds. When your battery is on 2% and you're desperate, anything will do.

Just like USB-A is ubiquitous, there are plenty of terrible USB-A cables but you can basically expect it on anything larger than a tablet. Those few ultraportable laptops that lacked at least one USB-A port were a pain in the ass and most vendors have backtracked on their decision to produce USB-C-only devices. People want their USB-A port, just like people will eventually want their USB-C port.
Posted on Reply
#16
R0H1T
bonehead123I seriously doubt that the insatiable greed-mongering mfgr's would ever allow that to happen :(
Let's be clear ~ it will not happen! Greedy corps will pocket any difference/savings & then some :shadedshu:
Posted on Reply
#17
MarsM4N
mechtechYa. Apple is probably crying or planning a lawsuit or something at the moment. ;)
I hope so, because the Lightning cable is just better. :p It slides in way more smooth & another big selling point is that if you manage to break it, the cable breaks & not the port on your phone.
TheLostSwedeThis is about a lot more than phones though, as it applies to all kinds of portable electronics from tablets to speakers and cameras.
Keep in mind that this isn't fixed for eternity, it's the standard until something better is developed, which will happen in due course, but it also means that the big electronics companies that come up with new interfaces, are going to be forced to work together to come up with next, better thing.
Let's pray it does include external 2.5" HDD's. The Micro USB most are using is just utter crap. On WD drives some even managed to pull in the port because the quality/fitting is so bad.
Posted on Reply
#18
Bomby569
MarsM4NI hope so, because the Lightning cable is just better. :p It slides in way more smooth & another big selling point is that if you manage to break it, the cable breaks & not the port on your phone.
As i understand it you can have cables and ports with unicorns, rgb, lightining and gold plated , as long as it has usb-c.
Posted on Reply
#19
PLSG08
RedBearWere they actually moving too slowly? Nearly every new smartphone uses a Type C charging port nowadays, the big exception was Apple. Introducing a regulation that will make it more difficult to introduce actual innovation just to punish a single company that dragged its feet looks pretty irrational to me, as much as I dislike Apple and its shenanigans.
tbf tho lightning is just crap compared to modern USB-C speeds specially now that Apple has ProRes video recording on their phones.

Transferring 4k videos thru usb 2.0 speeds are a pain. unless Apple designs a better port than USB-C then I see no problem with them changing to USB-C. And honestly how much innovation can do you with a port? As much as USB-C certifications are a mess, I have to agree that at least consumers don't have worry about what port fits into what port. I'd rather have a single port with messy standards than 20 ports that all do the same damn thing
Posted on Reply
#21
RedBear
TheLostSwedeThis is about a lot more than phones though, as it applies to all kinds of portable electronics from tablets to speakers and cameras.
Keep in mind that this isn't fixed for eternity, it's the standard until something better is developed, which will happen in due course, but it also means that the big electronics companies that come up with new interfaces, are going to be forced to work together to come up with next, better thing.
Well, in the first place the EU isn't really known for its speed, let's remember that they spent over a decade on this proposal and initially they wanted to settle on Micro USB as the standard charging port, they might waste several years before approving a replacement; in second lieu the very fact that the EU has to approve a new charging port standard, before devices using it can be sold in the EU, could convince many companies that they can live with Type C until the end of the days.

On the point that this legislation applies to more than phones, those other devices aren't nearly as ubiquitous in Europe as smartphones and personally I think that it wasn't necessary to regulate them, but the EU wants to regulate even your cucumbers, so one can easily understand that they couldn't help themselves. But while cucumbers remain pretty much the same over the decades, charging ports for electronic devices might very well need to change.
Posted on Reply
#23
GhostRyder
Meh, as much as I love this idea and love USB-C I am not a fan of this decision. Overall I have a problem with places regulating things like that especially when I think they don't have the knowledge on the subject and are just doing it because they can. This could hamper development/innovation strictly because they will be forced to use it and hope that the standard expands fast enough to keep up. I know this was mostly aimed at Apple and honestly apples lightning port is just annoying compared to Type-C. Now I don't live in Europe so I don't have a say but if this were to be done in the US I might have more to say.

Again I am all for reducing E-Waste and a good standard, I just don't think the people regulating will keep up and we may be held back by the standard if it does not get updated quick enough for new technology/innovations.
Posted on Reply
#24
Durvelle27
I don't see why so many people aren't for this stating it will hamper development. How much more development do you really think they'd get from USB. USB C as a whole offers so much flexabilty and we haven't even fully saturated it yet. Lets see, USB C connector itself is very durable and click in, Supports upto 40Gbit/s depending on version, Can output Audio, Can output Video, and offers expandability with many adapters for different uses

I'm happy to have a single cable that works for my iPad, Deck, Switch, and Laptop. I literally only carry around 1 65W smart charger for all my devices except my iPhone which uses crappy Lighting
Posted on Reply
#25
mechtech
TheLostSwedeThe data speed has nothing to do with charging.
PD 3.0 appears to be what they've gone for when it comes to everything except laptops, which is PD 3.1 based on the information provided.


Apple is somehow expected to drop the port entirely, in favour of wireless charging, which the EU is also about to regulate.
I'm sure the wireless Apple charger that you will still have to plug in will probably only cost $400 ;)
Posted on Reply
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