News Europe to Force Laptop Makers to Adopt USB-C for Charging

Giroro

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Electrically, USB-C is not a good standard for powering a laptop while it's in use. You don't want to be regularly pushing so much power over such a small connector, if you can avoid it. This is why a lot of docks will use multiple USB-C ports to power a laptop. I'd go as far as saying its a completely terrible standard once you factor in the massive oversaturation of unsuitable low-power dollar-store fire hazard phone chargers in circulation.

But if it were to just to be a requirement that a powered-off laptop can be trickle charged over USB, in addition to its power brick... Then that would be no big deal. Most new laptops can already do that, anyways.
 
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Kamen Rider Blade

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Why do I have the feeling Apple will find some way to "Spite" the EU mandate like making the USB-C connector "Power Only" and still keep the Lightning Port in their devices alongside a very "GIMPED" USB-C connector.

You know Apple collects a small royalty for every Lightning connector and port put into any 3rd party device or cable.
I don't see how Apple would ever want to give up that "Royalty" stream.
 

kjfatl

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Electrically, USB-C is not a good standard for powering a laptop while it's in use. You don't want to be regularly pushing so much power over such a small connector, if you can avoid it. This is why a lot of docks will use multiple USB-C ports to power a laptop. I'd go as far as saying its a completely terrible standard once you factor in the massive oversaturation of unsuitable low-power dollar-store fire hazard phone chargers in circulation.

But if it were to just to be a requirement that a powered-off laptop can be trickle charged over USB, in addition to its power brick... Then that would be no big deal. Most new laptops can already do that, anyways.
USB-C is fragile and can't supply enough power for a high end laptop. Dell and others make high-end desktops where the power is split between 2 USB-C connectors.
I would like to see the USB working group make 2 additions to the USB-C standard.
  1. A standard option for higher Power Delivery voltages, specifically 24V and 42V. 24V to support thermal printer heads and 40V as near the highest Safety Electric Low Voltage for consumers to use. This would allow high end laptops to use a single cable.
  2. An interchangeable robust connector shroud that holds the connector in place without a screw, but allows easy separation when pulled. This is easy to do, but worthless if not governed by the USB working group.
 

kjfatl

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I see that USB P# 3.1 addresses the power issue with 240W max.
  • New 28V, 36V, and 48V fixed voltages enable up to 140W, 180W and 240W power levels, respectively.
They still need to address the issue of the cable falling out where a screw lock is not practical. (Screw locks are optional in the standard).
 

Inthrutheoutdoor

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b.F.t.....

they should have done this like 5-7 years ago, when it was quickly becoming obvious (at least to anyone with 1/2 a brain) that USB-C would be the new standard connector for the foreseeable future....

I don't much care for gov't intervention in these types of issues either, but if that's what it takes, so be it :D
 

kjfatl

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A magnetic lock would be a great idea if it were an optional part of the standard. Without being accepted by the standards committee it's close to useless. I've already designed cables with custom over-molds that are held in place by friction, but it is a custom cable for a single set of products.
 

kjfatl

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b.F.t.....

they should have done this like 5-7 years ago, when it was quickly becoming obvious (at least to anyone with 1/2 a brain) that USB-C would be the new standard connector for the foreseeable future....

I don't much care for gov't intervention in these types of issues either, but if that's what it takes, so be it :D
Talking to some people loosely involved in the decision to use 20V, the 20V setting was arbitrary and could easily been at least 24V max. With the 20V max, TI then designed their controllers on a 28V process, which don't have enough headroom to operate very far above 20V. It took someone big to convince TI to design a new set of PD parts using a higher voltage process, as well as the standards committee adopting it.
 

samopa

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Why do I have the feeling Apple will find some way to "Spite" the EU mandate like making the USB-C connector "Power Only" and still keep the Lightning Port in their devices alongside a very "GIMPED" USB-C connector.

You know Apple collects a small royalty for every Lightning connector and port put into any 3rd party device or cable.
I don't see how Apple would ever want to give up that "Royalty" stream.
Do the EU council check the actual power requirement for every device ?
If not, then all Apple got to do is put small label on their product that says "This product required 101 Watt" to eligible not using USB-C ;)
 

dimar

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They need to force manufacturers to provide easy access for servicing laptops, like changing the screen, keyboard, CMOS battery, easy BIOS recovery, easy access to heatsink and fan. HP and Asus are doing everything they to make disassembly and service as difficult as possible. Dell and Lenovo is kind of ok right now.
 

vern72

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I think it's a bad idea to mandate laptops to use a USB-C port for power because laptops nowadays can use a lot of power. Cellphones, on the other hand, don't (it's just a matter of how fast people want to charge the phone).
 
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Kamen Rider Blade

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Do the EU council check the actual power requirement for every device ?
If not, then all Apple got to do is put small label on their product that says "This product required 101 Watt" to eligible not using USB-C ;)
Nah, I think Apple will give you the SLOWEST form of USB Power Delivery and call it a day.
They'll also DISABLE any form of data transfer on USB.
 
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InvalidError

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Having a standard plug is only half the battle. Power adapters with USB plugs cover such a broad range of power delivery specs and quirks, I suspect all the EU will end up with is a bunch of complaints about "USB-C" chargers other than OE not working within expectations with their higher-powered devices because their laptop, portable gaming console or whatever else requires a specific power profile the adapter doesn't advertise. Then you also have the whole mess of people needing to be aware that special cables with an ID chip are required to enable high-current (5A) mode and even more special cables with a different ID chip are required for voltages beyond 20V.

USB-C is becoming a nightmare.
 

Kamen Rider Blade

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Having a standard plug is only half the battle. Power adapters with USB plugs cover such a broad range of power delivery specs and quirks, I suspect all the EU will end up with is a bunch of complaints about "USB-C" chargers other than OE not working within expectations with their higher-powered devices because their laptop, portable gaming console or whatever else requires a specific power profile the adapter doesn't advertise. Then you also have the whole mess of people needing to be aware that special cables with an ID chip are required to enable high-current (5A) mode and even more special cables with a different ID chip are required for voltages beyond 20V.

USB-C is becoming a nightmare.
That's even more of a reason / justification to "Lock Down" their EU mandated USB-C port to the LOWEST form of USB Power Delivery across any cable and call it a day.

The risk / liability from fire hazards isn't worth it.
 
For those saying that 100W is too much for such a flimsy power connector...
Do you remember light bulbs? The 100W ones? Remember how big the filament was?
Yeah, it wasn't big. At all. They even had to be manufactured to fail before their time because of market leader collusion made them so.
The reason why a power connector has to be large is mostly the power in amps that runs through it, especially for DC. With USB-C already being able to handle 20V, that means it peaks at 5A.
That was the upper range of the power charge the Micro-USB plug could deal with. And USB-C has 4 such contacts to handle the same power. It is thus actually more secure than Micro-USB for the same task, and o one ever complained about fire hazards caused by Micro-USB. Especially since it's a "smart" charging system that consistently monitors itself and will actually power down (back to 5V 0.5A, or simply shut down) if it goes wonky.
 

KyaraM

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I don't quite get the issue some people here have. The article itself says that only devices below 100W are affected, so no need for horror stories of trying to get over 200W through those at all. That's not a thing. Heck, not even the proprietary power adapters are going anywhere. And it's not like that isn't a thing yet anyways, I have a company laptop for almost three years now that can be charged via USB-C or proprietary cable. It even supports USB-C monitor throughput. All this does is make it mandatory for literally everyone, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with it. Heck, it is a boon in the long run. Will companies like Apple scam you out of functionality as much they can? Well, Apple has been scummy, overpriced trash for a long time, so of course they will. doesn't mean it's not good in general.

I also don't see what the aversion against government action is. Free market is a lie anyways, you absolutely do not want to have that. Without government regulation, this world would be a corporate dystopia for ages now. The really funny part is, I was told that by an economist. Should make anyone typing an angry reply give a pause. One could say it already is, but I digress. Be glad something like this happens at all. And about the fears of getting the wrong adapter. Not as if companies don't advertise "compatible with x devices" already...
 
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While in this one case this is a good thing (USB-C is a great format), I dont like the idea of government mandates for things like this.
100% agree with this. I don’t like government making rules that affect everybody that’s not their job. Their job is to secure the borders and take care of roads. not be nannies.

anytime the government gets involved, the costs skyrocket, and the problems don’t get solved they get multiplied
 

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