USB 3.0 Will Provide Increased Power Too

By · Tuesday, July 31st, 2012

USB 3.0 Will Provide Increased Power TooWhat if I told you that your laptop could be fully charged through USB? Just by connecting your laptop with USB 3.0, it will be possible! That is the promise of the USB 3.0 Promoter Group. They state, “[USB 3.0] is capable of delivering higher power to charge notebook PCs and power external hard-disk drives, devices which previously did not receive adequate power from traditional 5V bus power.”

If you thought there weren’t enough incentives to make the switch from the other bus interfaces to USB 3.0, now may be the time to reconsider. As of earlier this month, the USB 3.0 Promoter Group, in collaboration with the USB 2.0 Promoter Group, announced that the new USB Power Delivery specification in USB 3.0 has been completed and is now available for adoption by computer companies. The announcement may just be the key factor in widening the market for USB 3.0, turning it into an interface just as ubiquitous in the mainstream as USB 2.0.

The entire online clamor about the USB Power Delivery specification revolves around its game-changing potential. In a press release, the USB 3.0 Promoter Group said the new specification will give USB cables and connectors the ability to transfer larger amounts of power. The cited figure is a whopping 100 watts, a power potential adequate enough to charge laptops and run external HDDs. An impressive feat it definitely is; power will be provided to demanding devices by just a single USB cable, instead of two — the current case of standard 5V USB power capacities. Clinching the deal is the fact that the power delivery system is designed to be bi-directional without the hassle of having to reorient the cable. For those worried about compatibility, the USB 3.0 Power Delivery specification is designed to be backward compatible with USB 2.0 and older cables and connectors. Those afraid of frying their gadgets with the switch should be consoled that the new specification guards against this by allowing only the newer cables to handle power higher than the standard 5V specification.

Extrapolating from this development, it’s quite possible for an external battery to be charged through a plugged-in laptop’s USB port, for example, and provide that laptop with power once the charger has been unplugged. Such a promising outlook makes it easy to foresee that companies will be more than willing to develop products for the USB 3.0 interface. With time, it would not be a surprise to find USB 3.0 to have standardized computer power in an influential way — one particular idea floating around being the creation of USB power bricks that can be used to charge any laptop regardless of brand.

How does that sound? Let us know in the comments below.

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