USB-IF is as soon as once more attempting to interrupt out of the USB-C confusion


Enlarge / The USB-IF is planning new logos to accompany the enhanced capabilities of USB-C 2.1 cables and chargers.

In just a few years, the USB-C port has evolved from its infancy to ubiquity. With a few exceptions, it’s the main charging, data, and display port for almost all modern phones, tablets, and laptops. The European Union has even proposed making it mandatory in all devices.

The problem is that the USB-C port was always connected to the other specifications in the USB protocol, but disconnected from them. USB-C cables can use 2.0 or 3.2 speeds, they can support multiple charging powers, have Thunderbolt support or not, and even Thunderbolt cables can be either “active” or “passive”. The connection is the same, but the capabilities are not.

The group behind USB-IF has always approached this problem in a very practical way and decided not to solve it with top-down orders, but with certifications and optional logos. Today the group announced a new set of logos (PDF) designed to demystify the USB-C 2.1 and USB Power Delivery (USB-PD) 3.1 standards announced earlier this year. Among other things, the new logos take into account the support of USB 4 as well as an increased maximum USB PD charging power from the old maximum power of 100 W to a new maximum power of 240 W.

The new logos define both speed and charging power; different versions can be used on the packaging of the devices and on the cables and connections themselves. Since the use of these logos is not mandatory, you can assume that they will be accepted as usual. But buying USB-IF certified and labeled accessories from reputable sellers is still probably the easiest way to avoid counterfeiting and get cables and chargers that do what they promise.

Offer picture by Andrew Cunningham