New USB-C Type 2.1 standard is here, bringing the Power Delivery up to 240W – when is it coming?

A Google engineer and USB-C cable tester by the name of Benson Leung revealed on Twitter that a new USB-C cable specification is out into the wild. New additions include an increased power delivery limit of 240W, which is a considerable change from the 100W previous limitation.

Physically, the port hasn’t changed at all, new 2.1 cables will have no problem plugging into 2.0 ports, and vice-versa. What Google has done is increase the voltage up to 48V, at this voltage, thus the cable can consistently deliver 240W at 5A. What it took to do this was the inclusion of a new paragraph, which forbids some of the pins inside, which control power, power delivery, and legacy USB 2.0 support, to short to ground during connector mating.

The only considerable problem was the arcing which happens when unplugging said USB cable. This isn’t a problem when plugging the cable as the Power Delivery doesn’t kick in unless the cable is completely plugged in. Arcing has been a problem even with a 12V cable, however, the potential damage increases proportionally to the increased voltage. Also, the old SPR (Standard Power Range) is being deprecated very quickly, as they will be replaced by new EPR cables, which will come electronically marked, to signify their power delivery capabilities (or lack thereof).

Increasing the voltage, greatly increases the damages that arcing can inflict.

Why this is good? Mainly, manufacturers now can standardize their chargers, so they can save production costs. They won’t save that much, as there is still a significant cost difference between the SPR and EPR cables.

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