At the end of May 2021, the USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF), a non-profit organization that develops and promotes USB technology around the world, introduced a new specification for the USB Type-C connector standard. We are talking about updating the USB Type-C connector to version 2.1., And increasing the power from 100 W to 240 W.
New markings and capabilities of USB Type-C 2.1.
After the USB upgrade, there have been significant changes, because now just one cable, where there will be USB Type-C 2.1, is enough to connect devices with an energy consumption indicator of up to 240 watts. This is the entire range of modern mobile gadgets, from smartphones to new generation laptops, with increased screen resolution and diagonal. Thanks to this innovation, peripherals do not need to look for additional adapters to connect other devices, because one universal cable is enough.
When it comes to cable designation, the new cable models will be produced with a special Extended Power Range (EPR) marking, an expanded range of possibilities. As indicated in the USB-IF documentation with the requirements of the new specification, this marking is mandatory in order to be able to identify the new EPR cable. As for other indicators of USB Type-C 2.1, these are voltage up to 50 V and amperage up to 5A.
USB-IF also takes care of protection when you need to disconnect the cable from the power source. Most likely, after the emergence of a new USB technology, manufacturers will have to make changes to the power supply, namely its design features. But before new cables and chargers become available, manufacturers will have to master the new technology.
Of course, there are certain limitations, because even after the USB upgrade, the power to 240 W may not be enough to connect new generation laptops, which belong to devices with a power of 300 W or more. Although, if we are talking about laptops, there should be no difficulties with connecting devices. As for the new iMac (M1), it comes with a 143W PSU.
International publications are vying to publish materials mentioning devices that can work with the new technology and which cannot. Here, USB Type-C version 2.1 is suitable for the normal functioning of a Dell UltraSharp 4K with a 32-inch monitor with a peak power rating of 230 W. You can also add the 17-inch HP Omen laptop. When it comes to laser printers, this power will not be enough for the full operation of the device.
Unique USB Type-C connector
The history of Universal Serial Bus (USB) begins in 1995, when the first version of the interface appeared. Thanks to USB, millions of devices can be combined with each other for normal operation. Therefore, USB is an essential element for transferring data that is stored on various devices. Although with the advent of the universal connector, there will be significant changes in data transmission.
It is larger than USB 2.0 Micro-B. And already USB 3.0 Micro-B comes in twice the size. We are talking about a universal connector 8.34 × 2.56 mm, which will fit compactly in thin devices, really important for new generation devices.
If we go to the study of the shape, then it has an oval shape, and is available with 24 leads. While in USB 1.0 / 2.0 there are 4 pins, and in USB 3.0 there are twice as many of them as in USB 1.0 / 2.0, namely 9 pins.
One of the advantages that immediately catches your eye is the balanced connector. Only with the release of such a connector is it possible to eliminate the problem, which is part of the user experience. The developer decided to simply duplicate the contact groups. Despite the fact that the solution is simple, a certain switching method and the like are used to implement it. And on both sides of the cable there are identical connectors. After all, now it does not matter which side to connect the plug. Anyone can!
The development took into account the disadvantages of USB 3.0 Micro-B, which manifest themselves in the form of backlash and unreliable fixation. Therefore, there are no additional gaps in USB Type-C, such as holes or cutouts. USB Type-C uses side latches as standard, so the interface fits snugly around the device.
Therefore, it should be understood that the presence of USB Type-C in the standard configuration of a device is not an indicator of the capabilities of its port. And, most likely, an undisclosed potential. And information about the capabilities of the device port can be checked directly with the manufacturer.