Gadgets Technology

USB PD Explained – Ultimate Guide: Unlocking Powerful Potential

USB PD Explained
Written by prodigitalweb

In recent years, because of the significant impact of the pandemic, mobile phones, tablet computers, and notebooks have become essential in our daily lives. The operation of 3C products, which are always changing, depends on power sources and batteries. Every device needs an independent charger. But these chargers are not easy to carry as well as not eco-friendly. That’s why the USB PD 3.1 protocol was released by the USB-IF Association. This one is a charging protocol that has unified specifications. You will need only one USB-PD charger for charging all those devices featuring a Type-C port. Let’s dig into the article to learn more about USB PD (USB Power Delivery).

USB PD Explained: 

What is USB PD?

It refers to a fast-charging technology which depends on the USB-C standard. This technology is compatible with different laptop brands, Android and Apple smartphones, etc. It is able to offer higher performance compared to the standard charging methods.

This new standard has the capability of providing power up to 240 watts, which is sufficient to charge laptops and other electronic devices that need more power, which USB-C is unable to supply alone. Laptop manufacturers requested to invent a connector that has the ability to deliver more power. That’s why USB-IF introduced this specification.

It supports USB4 and USB Power Delivery 3.1 specifications and helps to define how devices supply power using the USB-C connector as well as how the devices get identified & managed. In addition, it can elucidate the function of the pins in the connector and how you should use them so that they can provide power at different voltages and currents.

How Do You Use USB PD?

If you are willing to get USB PD recharge speeds, you will require the following— a charger, a USB-C cable, and a device to support the standard. While purchasing, it is essential to make sure that everything is able to use this technology.

You need to check specifications and manuals in order to see if they are compatible with the standard. Remember that it is important to know first the compatibility of your device. The reason is that some devices could be compatible with USB PD, but these don’t support USB-C standards.

You could have a USB PD-compatible charger. Do you have a USB hub and want to know the function of the “PD” charging ports? Then, you should know that these are some special ports that can meet the specifications of USB Power Delivery. With the help of these ports, you are able to charge USB PD devices quickly.

What Are The Benefits Of USB-C PD?

Compared to the standard wall chargers, it is able to supply a greater amount of power. That’s why you can use this standard to get the power back into devices quickly. USB-PD is able to charge tablets up to 70% more quickly compared to a standard USB charger that can provide 5 watts of power. More chargers are trying to use this technology because it is an open and widely adopted standard.

What Are The Features Of USB PD Chargers?

In order to meet the need for quick charging, these chargers integrate Quick Charge features completely. It supports different output voltages and currents. Besides, this technology is compatible with different 3C devices like cameras, mobile phones, and notebook computers simultaneously. As a result, these chargers are used massively. These are three main features of these chargers, including:

  • Meets The Outputs Of Various Powers:

It is categorized into five power specifications, including 10W, 18W, 36W, 60W and 100W. Whereas, 5V, 9V, 15V and 20V are the four voltage specifications. In order to deliver more efficient charging, it is possible to provide different power outputs but it depends on the need of connected devices. These chargers adopted a USB-C connector to unify the specifications.

  • Smart Power Management Functions:

As per the requirements of your device, it is possible to adjust the power output to improve charging efficiency as well as extend the battery life.

  • Compatible With Multiple Power Modes:

These chargers are compatible with PPS, APDO and QC power modes. In addition, these support different device’s quick charge requirements.

Why is USB Power Delivery Important?

When it comes to discussing different fast-charging standards, you get to see a huge competition in the market. This USB standard has a few competitors, such as— Qualcomm’s Quick Charge, Huawei’s SuperCharge, and Oppo’s VOOC.

  • Removes Proprietary Barriers And Reduces Waste:

Usually, other charging standards are proprietary. Manufacturers developed these standards particularly for their products. For instance, a Qualcomm Quick Charge (QC) charger is suitable for a phone that is designed to use this. But it is not going to support a Huawei device that uses SuperCharge.

This technology wants to stop it through standardization. While a USB Power Delivery charger allows you to fast charge your phone, you can use it to power a laptop or smartphone of a different brand. In this case, the size and manufacturer of your device do not matter.

  • Allows For Two-Way Charging:

Before this technology, a power bank or charger was essential to recharge most devices. It indicates that a device is able to accept or give out energy but can not do both. Devices that use USB PD are now able to provide reverse charging facilities.

USB PD Adopts Good Ideas:

Different fast-charging standards follow different techniques to boost output. In order to reach a high output level, Qualcomm increased the voltage. Besides, BBK Electronics who is the producer of the OnePlus used greater ampere values. Both of these ways have advantages and disadvantages, but the best of both worlds could be the combination of progressive steps in current and voltage so that optimal power supply can be reached for each scenario. It is what the USB-IF which defined USB specifications did, starting with USB Power Delivery 1.0, supporting 5, 12 or 20 volts at 1, 2, 3 or 5 amps.

Is Power Delivery Technology Safe?

Yes, power delivery technology is safe. You can always get the exact amount of power from the USB Power Delivery chipset. The charger is able to recognize the connected device— no matter whether you are using a laptop or a smartphone. Besides, it is capable of negotiating the power that is needed to charge it as fast as possible.

Thus, you can confirm that your device will be charged very quickly without causing any damage to its circuits or receiving excessive power. One thing you need to keep in mind is that you need special cables, which should be able to transport high currents for those devices that charge with higher wattage. Otherwise, it may cause cable fires.

How Fast Is USB Power Delivery Charging?

Due to the variable nature of this charging and its different battery capacities, you can never precise this standard’s accurate speed. For instance, smartphones with huge battery capacity use 18W USB Power Delivery to get fully charged in over an hour. Laptops with large-capacity batteries use 65W charging to get charged completely within an hour or two.

Remember that smartphones do not use high voltages for battery charging. In order to charge up the battery, fast charging of smartphones uses 5V or 9V and high currents. For instance, OnePlus’ 65W charging tech uses 6.5A charging and 10V. On the other hand, 10V and 4A are used for HUAWEI’s 40W option.

The closest USB Power Delivery voltage is 9V, offering a maximum power of 27W, capped at 27W maximum power. Generally, USB Power Delivery smartphones don’t use 3A completely either, capped at 18-20W power. You can see giant companies like Google, Motorola, and Samsung use USB Power Delivery PPS to offer 25W to 45W fast charging in their modern smartphones. If you want to charge your smartphone very fast, around 45W will be enough.

What Happens If You Use the Wrong Cable?

As we discussed proprietary chargers and different power levels, you may be worried by thinking that you may mix & match the charging cables. So what will happen if you plug a OnePlus fast charger mistakenly into a smartphone that does not accept this?

If you use the wrong cable, there is a little risk that your device could explode. So, if you are not willing to take any risk, the best thing you can do in this case is to use a charger that is mainly designed for your device. However, there is nothing to worry about if you use both the plug and cable that you get with your product or purchase from the official store. USB Power Delivery may seem to you confusing. However, manufacturers are now adopting this standard on their devices. So, now it will be possible to have fast USB charging facilities that are capable of working on most of the devices.

The Bottom Line:

Laptops in recent times come with exceptional capabilities to deliver incredible power and awesome performance and let you connect peripherals and different displays based on your requirements. But the connectivity ports that are available on the laptops are becoming fewer in number day by day. However, USB Power Delivery, which is a part of the USB-IF specification and built on the existing USB ecosystem, can provide data as well as power at the same time via the USB-C port on the laptop and helped to overcome the issue of lack of ports.

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