What is USB-C? Benefits? How to select a most suitable Type-C charger?

2023-01-09

Overviews

 

In an era when technologies explosively evolve with each day, and especially in recent years when pandemic broke out, 3C products became items everyone inevitably carried around with them. However, besides improved performance and improved aesthetics, product details also change all the time. For example, Macbooks now have Type‑C charging ports and Micro-B ports previously used by majority of Android cell phones have given way to Type-C ports. Since Type-C has become increasingly intertwined with our daily lives, let us now learn more about Type-C.

 

 

What is USB-C?

USB-C, also called USB Type-C, refers to a specific specification of USB connectors. USB‑C it is one form of the Universal Serial Bus (USB) hardware interface and is also currently the most popular charging port for Android cell phones. The emerge of USB-C came after the extensive acceptance of the USB 3.1 and USB-PD protocols when major mobile phone and tablet brands successively started to use then between 2013 and 2014,  and Apple’s Macbook Pro also launched with USB-C ports in 2015. As of today, as noted in the “2021 USB Type-C Report” published by Ombia, approximately 80% of notebooks and 50% of smart phones come with the USB-C interface.

Figure: Diagram of USB-C Port

 

 

What benefits can USB Type-C provide?

How did USB Type-C become so popular so quickly? We believe Type‑C’s rapid popularity can be attributed to the following reasons:
 

  1. Reversible connector: USB Type-C connectors have identical upside and downside terminals which allow it to be plugged in with either side. As compared with legacy Micro-B which requires identifying the up-side and down-side during plugging-in, USB Type-C is obviously much easy to use.
  2. Mature technology supporting quick charge and high‑speed transfers: As time passed, USB-PD (USB Power Delivery) matured gradually. Simply put, USB-PD is the solution which passed the unified charge protocol stipulated by USB-IF to support “charging” functionality, hence achieving a 2-in-1 outcome in combination with existing data transfer functions. As technologies continuously evolve, both transmission and charging speeds have increased significantly when compared to legacy connectors.
  3. Policy-based Support: In October 2022, the EU Parliament formally passed the “Common Mobile Charger” legislation which stipulates that from end‑2024, all mobile electronic products sold in EU member countries shall be equipped with USB Type-C ports to achieve consumer convenience, monetary savings, as well as environment protection.

 

Based on the above, as USB-C ports develop and popularize, all notebooks, tablets, mobile phones and even versatile domestic apparatuses will be able to achieve charging and/or data transfer in the future. With unified cable specifications, consumers will no longer have to face the hassle of dealing with a wide variety of cables.

 

 

What are some considerations when selecting USB Type-C products?

So, how do we select a suitable product? This must be a common challenge facing most consumers purchasing USB Type-C products: different chargers of different shapes and sizes confuse people, and choices which were made on the basis of price or intuition would leave many regretting not having done enough homework before shopping. In light of this pain point, we have prepared a few key points here to help consumers better learn how they can choose well.

 
 

Consideration 1: Choose a reliable brand

Charging a 3C product using a non‑qualified charger produced by an unknown manufacturer may result in accidents during the charging process and further damage your product. When buying a USB Type-C product, it is therefore essential that you select a charger produced by a reliable and certified manufacturer.

 

 

Consideration 2: Data transfer speed

Data transfer speeds are also a key consideration as it is difficult to differentiate whether the product adopts USB 2.0, 3.0 or 3.1 specifications, which have transfer speeds of 480Mbps, 5Gbps and 10Gbps, respectively, simply from just looking at the product. As huge differences may be experienced during use, one must therefore carefully choose what you purchase so that it is most suitable to your needs.

 

 

Consideration 3: Personal habits in usage

Everyone have different habits when using chargers, and some prefer to use a mobile phone whilst charging it. In the above scenario, one must consider whether proper protection is provided between the connectors and the transfer wire for ensuring both prolonged and safe use. Furthermore, as not all the existing products support USB Type-C, it is absolutely essential to verify the specification of the product on the other end of the transfer cable, so that you will not end up in an awkward situation by buying a charging device having a USB Type-C port on both ends which you cannot use.

 

 

FAQs about USB Type-C Chargers

Here are some frequently asked questions about USB Type-C which may help you quickly find answers.

 

Q: What’s the difference between USB PD & USB QC?

A: There are two types of USB quick charging: PD and QC. The main difference between PD and QC is the former reaches 100W whereas the latter capable of reaching 240W. Likewise, Apple peripherals are not QC‑charging applicable, hence iPhone or MacBook users must be careful and avoid buying quick chargers which cannot offer the expected performance.

 

Q: What’s the input and output power of USB Type-C?

A: As of now, most USB Type-C charging cables are rated 100W SPR (Standard Power Range); according to USB Type-C 2.1 specification issued by the USB-IF in 2021, the maximum power can reach up to 240W EPR (Extended Power Range). The consumer may find a USB-IF certified “EPR 240W” logo on the product.

 

Q: Is there a certification organization for Type-C chargers?

A: Yes, a Type-C charger is deemed as an independent external PSU, therefore adopts PSU Safety Standard Certification (simply put, Safety Certificate) under IEC 62368. Safety standards in different regions and countries are all based on IEC 62368, but with slight differences. The most common regional Safety Certifications are UL (USA), TUV (EU), JET (Japan), and CCC (China). The main test items in these safety certifications include whether health hazards occur under improper operation conditions of the product. PSUs which have passed more reginal certifications will certainly provide relatively higher protection in terms of safety.

 

Q: Are chargers classified by the power consumption the same way as household electric apparatuses? 

A: Yes. In today’s society which values environmental protection, achieving minimal power consumption and high performance is the mainstream trend amongst electronic products. Excessive power consumption both impacts the environment and damages the electronic product. We kindly suggest you select products with have a DOE‑rated Efficiency Level.

 

 

Recommending FSP USB Type-C PD chargers.

With all the above, let’s directly share with our readers three Type-C chargers the write has reviewed to help our readers quickly select a product that meets their own requirements.

 

(1)    FSP045-A1BR: This model supports up to 45W output for charging notebooks, tablets, mobile phones or even a Switch gaming console. This model, on top of its 9 integral certifications, also supports 100~240Vac.

全漢FSP045-A1BR

Figure: FSP045-A1BR (Product Details)

 

(2)    FSP065-A1BR3: This charger is the A1BR enhanced: In addition to supporting multiple electronic devices and 100~240Vac, the A1BR3’s main difference lies in its maximum 65W output for increased charging efficiency.

FSP065-A1BR3

Figure: FSP065-A1BR3 (Product Details)

 

(3)    FSP060-D1BR4: As compared to the above models, the D1BR4’s main difference lies in its thinnest C6 adapter’s form factor of 92 x 77.3 x 25.4mm, hence making it a perfect choice for consumers who travel with many electronic devices.

全漢FSP060-D1BR4

Figure: FSP060-D1BR4 (Product Details)

 

 

Conclusions

After reading this article, we hope our readers may have clearly understood the benefits of Type-C, as well as how they can select suitable cables and adapters. Readers who have related needs can, after reading this article, not only seek find a lifestyle which fits themselves best, but also find cables and adapters which best fit their 3C products.

 

| FSP PD Charger Microsite |

About FSP

FSP Group is one of the global leading power supply manufacturer. Since 1993, FSP Group has followed the management conception “service, profession, and innovation” to fulfill its responsibilities as a green energy resolution supplier.

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