USB has progressed from a data interface capable of delivering limited power to a primary power provider with a data interface. Many devices today use USB ports in laptops, workstations, docking stations, displays, cars, airplanes, or even wall sockets to charge or obtain power.
Numerous portable electronics, such as cell phones, tablets, portable speakers, and other handheld devices, now use USB as a power source. To perform "traditional" USB functions, users require a USB to satisfy their data needs and power or charge the devices easily and frequently without the need to load a driver.
The USB Power Delivery (USB PD) Specification extends the USB functionality by allowing for more flexible power delivery and data transmission over a single cable. Its goal is to work with and expand upon the current USB ecosystem.
This technology allows the cables and connectors to provide a faster charge, more power for larger devices, a shorter total charge time, and simultaneous charging between devices, which has recently gained popularity.
Various Fast-Charging Standard – Specs Sheet
What is PD 3.0?
It began with the USB Power Delivery 3.0 fast-charging standard, which was made public in November 2015. When the USB PD 3.0 was released, there was a significant difference compared to the USB PD 2.0, with three major changes and improvements in its functions.
First, this PD 3.0 fast-charging standard includes a more detailed description of the device's built-in battery characteristics. In addition, device software and hardware version identification, as well as software update functions via PD communication, have been added. Finally, the number has been added to a certificate and digital signature function, which is the third improvement.
Regarding the voltages with which it is compatible, the USB PD 3.0 does not differ from the USB PD 2.0, as both versions support voltages of 5V3A, 9V3A, 12V3A, 15V3A, and 20V5A, as well as a maximum charging power of 100W. They also share the same interface, which is the USB Type-C interface.
What is PD 3.1?
The Power Delivery 3.1, released in 2021, is a significant update that enables the delivery of up to 240W of power over a fully functional USB-C cable and connector.
Before this update, power delivery could only operate at a maximum power of 100W when using USB-C cables rated at 5A. With the updated PD protocol, power supply definition, and 240W cable requirements, power delivery 3.1 can now be used in a wide range of applications where 100W was previously insufficient.
The following are the most important aspects of the USB PD 3.1 specification:
- Three new fixed voltages are available: 28V (above 100W), 36V (above 140W), and 48V (above 180W), in addition to the previously defined 5V, 9V, 15V, and 20V fixed voltages.
- A new adjustable voltage mode enables a range of 15V to one of three maximum voltages (28V, 36V, or 48V) depending on available power, allowing the powered device to request specific voltages with a 100 mV resolution.
PD 3.0 Vs PD 3.1: What is the Difference?
Since the creation of the USB PD fast-charging standard, changes have been made exponentially, bringing a variety of updates, functions, and features that get better with each release.
The USB PD3.0 includes a more recent protocol recognition function. And USB PD3.1 is primarily intended to broaden the scope of the USB PD fast charging standard's application. This latter, with enormous power, can be used in monitors, servers, power tools, and security POE power supplies.
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