There are different phones and devices out there today. And all of them require different kinds of charging standards. The after-market accessories make it hard to determine what kind of speed you will get while charging your device. To fix all this confusion, the USB Developers has introduced a standard power supply system. And it is called the USB Power Delivery or USB PD.
Introduced in 2012, the USB PD is made to deliver fast charging to devices. With USB ports used in maximum devices these days, it is an all-in-one configurable system. It is in its third version now, which supports more tweaking than its predecessors.
We are going to explain what it is and how it is working with smart devices nowadays.
What Is a USB PD?
USB ports normally give an output of 5V, which extends to 500mA. Some newer versions support 900mA too. But this is very basic of them. But USB-C ports can be configured with a 5V, 1.5A, and 3A which extends to 15W power. Which is fast, but not close enough to be called a fast charger.
USB Power delivery on the other hand is more powerful than that. It supports up to 100W of power output. It can supply power to even a power hungry laptop. The tech used here does a power handshake that determines how much power the device requires. And then it can supply the required voltage like 5V and up to 20V with 5W to 100W.
The newest version of USB PD is called a USB Power Delivery Programmable Power Supply or USB PD PPS which can be configured to how much voltage it will supply. If somehow the two devices fail to do the handshake communication, a standard suitable power is supplied according to the next best option.
Today USB PD is used in a lot of smartphones. The latest are the Google Pixel devices, Samsung’s Galaxy S series, and iPhone. Other smartphones are adopting the technology and starting to roll out in the market.
The Versions of USB Power Delivery
Not all phones are compatible with USB PD technology. The first version of USB PD supported 10W, 18W, 36W, 60W, and 100W. This is very inconvenient for older devices that require a lower current level. That is why the updated USB Power Delivery 2.0 and 3.0 are made with flexible power supply rules. With this, the voltage stays fixed but the wattage is flexible from device to device. And USB PD 3.0 also has the option that learns the battery’s health and ensures higher security with handshake communication. So it is more than just charging the phone.
USB Power Delivery, Is It Fast?
Although USB Power Delivery is a faster charging option, most smartphones don’t use that much of the speed and current level. Usually smartphones us around 18W which takes an hour to charge a smartphone from zero to a hundred. Laptops use 60W charging which takes about an hour or two to charge fully.
With the USB PD PPS technology, the hardware should also be supportive. Otherwise, it won’t do the work. Smartphones are now adapting and they can take up to 120W of charging, or what they say they do. It is hard to determine how much of it is used. But it is faster than before. And generally, a 40W charger is more than enough for a smartphone.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Will my phone heat up or explode if I use USB Power Delivery?
A. While charging, most phones heat up until the battery charge is around 80%. It is because of the rapid charging option. After that, it slows down and the phone cools off. A phone exploding is unlikely to happen, unless it is in use or has some malfunctions.
Q. Can I charge my older laptop with USB PD?
A. If your laptop supports over 60W of charging, which is normal for any laptop, then you can definitely try. But please read the requirements of your laptop before doing that. Some laptops might not support this and it will not charge at all.
Q. Can I use different chargers than the one that came with my phone?
A. Yes and no. Read your phone’s charging voltage and wattage before trying the aftermarket products. Though some are good products in the market, most of them are not compatible and might lead your phone battery to malfunction or even explode in some cases.
The USB Power Delivery is on its third version. It is still to be adopted by mid rage smartphones. High-end smartphones and laptops are the ones using it, and still, they don’t use it to its full potential. Development of the battery and hardware is still needed to take in the technologies full effect.