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USB connectors were introduced in the mid-1990s, and since then, their size, shape, data transfer capabilities, and power limitations have been constantly evolving. Today, the latest physical standard is Type C. In addition to larger bandwidth, two-way and reversible, this latest iteration also has higher power transmission capabilities than previous generations.
For USB connectors, there are three different associated standards: physical connector, data transfer protocol and power transfer. CUI Devices has an in-depth blog where these standards are described. From a high point of view, the USB Type-C connector follows the physical connector standard. This physical standard is designed to meet power delivery standards up to 100 W, which opens up a new field of power supply opportunities for USB.
Advantages of USB Type-C Power Supply Applications
A standard USB Type-C connector can accommodate 16 data transmission pins, 4 power pins and 4 ground pins, for a total of 24 pins. USB Type C has a power supply capability of up to 100 W and is now a viable option for many applications that require a large amount of power. Even if data transmission is not required, it can also replace the standard dc power connector.
The biggest advantage of using USB as a power supply method is standardization. USB connectors are ubiquitous, and the transition to Type C is developing rapidly. Many new phones and mobile devices already come with USB Type C, and the EU is increasingly likely to adopt Type C connectors as the charging standard for all devices in the future. For many different products, the promise of convenience brought by using a single off-the-shelf cable type will greatly appeal to end users.
From the OEM's point of view, these connectors (only power and data + power) are easy to find through a stable supply chain, because standardization guarantees a certain degree of interoperability. The standard also ensures easy design integration, and Type C has a much smaller footprint than many barrel connectors. Finally, the USB Type-C connector is sturdy and durable and can be plugged and unplugged 10,000 times, ensuring a long life.
USB Type-C Connector for Power Supply Only
Due to the benefits listed above, CUI devices have developed a power-only USB Type C socket for a design that only uses charging or power delivery as a function. CUI Devices’ USB Type-C socket with only 60 W power supply removes 16 data transmission pins and 2 ground pins, leaving only 4 power pins and 2 ground pins, while the 100 W version only retains all 4 power and ground pins. Of 8 pins.
Other Power Considerations
Although the USB Type-C connector is very useful in various situations, sometimes a dedicated power delivery option is still a practical solution. For example, under the hard limit of 100 W, Type C will not work at all if more power is required. In other cases, due to specific design constraints, different sizes or connector sizes may need to be used. Ultimately, when a more customized solution is required, the USB Type-C connector may be limited by its standardized size, size, and specifications. For more information on when other power connectors are still the best solution, read the information on choosing DC power connectors in CUI Devices' blog.
The Future of USB Type C
The USB Type-C connector and the Power Delivery standard have opened up a new way to view power management and transmission. Although not the final solution, its powerful features and global standardization make it an excellent choice for considering many different products. When only power is needed, CUI Devices’ power-only USB Type-C connector has become an attractive solution for engineers due to its lower cost and simplified design integration.
CUI equipment currently provides a 60 W power-only USB Type C socket with a maximum rated current of 3 A and a rated voltage of 20 Vdc. A 100 W power-only USB Type C socket is also provided, with 5 A rated current and 20 Vdc rated voltage supported by the USB Type C connector.