USB-PD boosts USB-C power delivery to 240W at 48V

May 28, 2021 // By Nick Flaherty
USB-PD boosts USB-C power delivery to 240W at 48V
The USB PD3.1 specification boosts power to 240W with a wider range of fixed voltages up to 48V

The USB Promoter Group has launched revision 3.1 of the USB Power Delivery (USB PD) specification to support 240W of power in 48V suppliers.

Before this update, USB PD was limited to 100W via a solution based on 20V using USB Type-C cables rated at 5A. The USB Type-C specification has also been updated with Release 2.1 to define 240W cable requirements.

The combined USB PD protocol and power supply definition extends the applicability of USB PD to a large number of applications where 100W wasn’t adequate. The new USB PD architecture defines a much more stringent power negotiation protocol that helps to ensure that access to and use of this higher power capability can be done safely.

The USB PD3.1 specification defines a choice of three new fixed voltages: 28V (above 100W), 36V (above 140W) and 48V (above 180W) joining previously defined 5V, 9V, 15V and 20V fixed voltages.

A new adjustable voltage mode enables a range from 15V to one of three maximum voltages (28V, 36V, or 48V) depending on the available power allowing the device being powered to request specific voltages to a 100 mV resolution.

Safety requirements for products in the 100 – 240W range are also more stringent than lower power products and are defined by the applicable safety specifications dictated by the regulations for each country where the products will be sold.

“With the new capabilities of USB Power Delivery 3.1, we now enable higher power products such as larger notebook PCs to shift from traditional power connectors to USB Type-C,” said Brad Saunders, USB Promoter Group Chairman. “We also anticipate a wider range of product application developers outside of the traditional USB ecosystem to now consider standardizing on USB Type-C with USB PD power their power needs.”

The update is part of the USB performance roadmap and is specifically targeted to developers rather than the consumer market.

The new 240W USB PD3.1 specification is supported by STMicroelectronics, Texass Instruments  for a higher-power, truly universal bus connector.

“The 3.1 revision to the USB Power Delivery specification, which includes the capability to provide up to 48 V and 240 W of power, will help enable additional design opportunities for current and new users of USB Type-C technology,” said Deric Waters, senior member of technical staff at Texas Instruments.

The group also includes Renesas Electronics as a chip maker, and Infineon Technologies has become a significant supplier of controllers after its acquisition of USB-PD pioneer Cypress Semiconductor.

www.usb.org

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