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Power Technology

USB SuperSpeed Power Spec To Leap From 10W To 100W 242

Posted by samzenpus
from the power-up dept.
Lucas123 writes "While news stories have focused on the upcoming jump from 5Gbps to 10Gbps for USB SuperSpeed, less talked about has been the fact that it will also increase charging capabilities from 10W to 100W, meaning you'll be able to charge your laptop, monitor, even a television using a USB cord. Along with USB, the Thunderbolt peripheral interconnect will also be doubling it throughput thanks to a new controller chip, in its case from 10Gbps to 20Gbps. As with USB SuperSpeed, Thunderbolt's bandwidth increase is considered an evolutionary step, but the power transfer increase is being considered revolutionary, according to Jeff Ravencraft, president of the USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF). 'This is going to change the way computers, peripheral devices and even HDTVs will not only consume but deliver power,' Ravencraft said. 'You can have an HDTV with a USB hub built into it where not only can you exchange data and audio/video, but you can charge all your devices from it.'"
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USB SuperSpeed Power Spec To Leap From 10W To 100W

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  • by Tvingo (229109) on Monday April 22, 2013 @02:27PM (#43517545)

    So if you have 4 USB SS ports on a motherboard that motherboard is going to have to be able to supply 400W @ 5V? You can't be serious. We'll need dedicated power connections on the motherboard just to supply this.

    The example of using a TV to power multiple devices raises the same concerns. Now the TV power supply will be much more complicated. Rather than power just the 60-70W the TV draws it needs to have a power supply that could supply 100's of extra watts?

    The only application I see for this is to use 100W USB SS ports on walls for a common household DC standard interface. That could be interesting, but integrating it into devices is not simple. It adds levels of complexities to the devices that will need to supply the power.

  • Re:Dangerous (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Joce640k (829181) on Monday April 22, 2013 @02:58PM (#43517855) Homepage

    OTOH 20 amps is enough for a USB powered Tesla coil, which might kill you.

    Can't wait!

  • Re:we've had a few (Score:5, Interesting)

    by rjr162 (69736) on Monday April 22, 2013 @03:12PM (#43517975)

    because fibre is much easier to break/snap than copper. Same reason the company my friend works for who installs media distribution systems into Lufthansa aircraft don't spec it out with fiber lines.. they use CAT 7 with the TERA style ends, because an over-zealous mechanic is more likely to snap a fibre optic line with his zip tie than a copper line

  • Re:or firewire? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Monday April 22, 2013 @03:14PM (#43517991) Journal

    While I'm not impressed by USB's mutations over the years, Firewire had the major drawback that(at least in practice, not sure if the paper demanded otherwise) there was a very, very heavy emphasis on 'up to' when it came to how much power could be delivered.

    A small minority of actually-well-built workstations and the like wouldn't shrug at providing full specced power. More or less ordinary PCs usually had a floppy or molex connector to supplement PCI bus power; but didn't spring for a DC-DC converter, so (since 30v isn't readily available anywhere on the DC side of an ATX PSU) you generally got 12v, albeit at a decent amperage. Laptops? In practice, "firewire" pretty much meant 'whatever Apple did on the last couple of models of ibook and powerbook; because all the PCs omitted the power pins entirely for "i.link" or similar, which usually boiled down to ~19v, if on adapter, 12-ish if on battery.

    The nominal maximum was certainly fairly spacious; but a powered firewire peripheral was essentially always on the hook for a DC-DC converter, and had to deal gracefully with(or simply refuse to work with, ideally in a documented way) substantially inferior power supplies from many devices.

    5v 500ma was always pitiful; but (by virtue of being so pathetic) most devices actually did as well or better than they claimed to, and lots of peripherals could get away with only the cheapest of designs for handling bus power.

    That's my bet for why "100watt USB" will suck. Sure, it'll be cute and all that POS hardware vendors can now have USB printers and things that are 'standards compliant' and will actually work if purchased 100% from approved vendors and plugged in just right; but everyone else will have wildly unpredictable actual power levels.

  • Re:fiber is fragile (Score:5, Interesting)

    by robot256 (1635039) on Monday April 22, 2013 @03:46PM (#43518323)
    The main benefit of TOSlink is avoiding ground loops in audio systems. This is especially important if you have a long run between ends of the building with a significant resistance in the building ground system between them.
  • by CastrTroy (595695) on Monday April 22, 2013 @04:14PM (#43518615) Homepage
    I'd like to know how this is supposed to work. You are going to have a lot of trouble getting 100W out of a laptop USB port. Are these only going to only be available in desktops? Even there there's probably quite a few desktops that don't have 100 "extra" watts in their power supply to provide to some peripheral. Although you can get a very high wattage power supply, you don't really need that much with modern processors, and SSDs. Especially if you don't have a particularly fancy video card.
  • Re:we've had a few (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Mashiki (184564) <mashiki AT gmail DOT com> on Monday April 22, 2013 @04:40PM (#43518843) Homepage

    Odd, I thought using zip ties was illegal on aircraft. Due to the fact that they can cause vibration damage to cabling, and make it wear through exceptionally quick. While it's been awhile since I was last at a fab plant, they were using low abrasion cloth such as silk to tie cabling together.

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