The USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF) has announced version 2.1 of its USB-C specification, which more than doubles the power delivery capacity of the standard. The current USB-C standard that you find on thin-and-light notebooks these days is limited to 100W, so it isn’t suitable for power-hungry gaming laptops with dedicated graphics cards. However, the new standard can deliver up to 240W, so it may make an appearance on gaming laptops soon.
As per CNET, the new 240W power delivery option in the upgraded standard is called Extended Power Range (EPR). Cables with EPR support will have additional requirements to account for the higher power delivery capacity, and they will feature specific icons to help end-users visually confirm that the cable supports up to 240W power delivery. As Android Central notes, manufacturers will have to adhere to a new set of specifications for USB-C cables that support EPR to avoid connector constraints and issues “that can arise from those much higher voltages, such as the higher chances of arcing while unplugging a live cable.”
While we’re not sure when we’ll see devices featuring the new USB-C power delivery standard, the next generation of USB-C cables should hit the market by the end of this year or early next year. It’s worth noting that the USB-IF worked with manufacturers like AMD, Apple, Dell, Google, HP, Intel, Lenovo, LG, MediaTek, Oculus, Qualcomm, Samsung, and more on the new specification. Therefore, you can expect to see devices featuring the new power deliver revisions from these manufacturers in the near future.
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