New spec will allow for high-power USB 3.0 ports

By 2012, USB 2.0 and 3.0 ports could be delivering up to 100 watts to connected devices
Allen Ngo,

The USB 3.0 Promoter Group announced this Tuesday new plans for an extension of the USB 3.0 specifications to allow for delivery of more power.

According to its press release, the new spec will be able to deliver higher voltages and current up to 100 watts and will work equally well on both USB 2.0 and 3.0 with existing cables and connectors. “Conceivably, a notebook PC could rely solely on a USB connection for its source of power,” said USB 3.0 Promoter Group Chairman Brad Saunders.

Currently, a normal USB 2.0 port provides a 5V supply with at most 500mA per port, while USB 3.0 offers around the same voltage but with up to 900mA per port.

The new spec is expected to be ready for review and publication by early 2012, so notebooks and PCs sporting the new high-power USB port could begin popping up soon after that. It would be interesting to see the adoption rate of the new specification as USB 3.0 is still a long ways off from becoming ubiquitous.


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Allen Ngo, 2011-08- 9 (Update: 2012-05-26)
Allen Ngo
Allen Ngo - US Editor in Chief
After graduating with a B.S. in environmental hydrodynamics from the University of California, I studied reactor physics to become licensed by the U.S. NRC to operate nuclear reactors. There's a striking level of appreciation you gain for everyday consumer electronics after working with modern nuclear reactivity systems astonishingly powered by computers from the 80s. When I'm not managing day-to-day activities and US review articles on Notebookcheck, you can catch me following the eSports scene and the latest gaming news.