USB 3.0 Group Proposes Eliminating Proprietary Laptop Chargers
July 24, 2012 11:24 AM
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Chargers would be replaced with a ubiquitous USB 3.0 solution, supporting up to 100 watts of draw
Today, other than Apple, Inc.'s (
) iPhone, smartphones have made the leap from proprietary connectors to a single ubiquitous standard --
. This is a huge relief for phone users, as it means whether you have a Windows Phone or an Android phone, it's easy to find replacement chargers.
But the situation in the world of laptops remains far worse.
Virtually every manufacturer has its own proprietary brand of A/C adaptors, most of which use some kind of post-style plug.
USB 3.0 Promoter Group
a new standard
[PDF], which proposes using new USB 3.0 power cables as a ubiquitous replacement to proprietary adaptors. Under the proposal, laptops could draw up to 100 watts off of bi-directional, backwards compatible USB 3.0 cables.
The USB cable could be plugged into a "mains adaptor" -- an adaptor that converts household alternating current to a useable direct current supply fed into the USB. Currently, such adaptors are commonly used to charge smartphones. As the connector to the device -- a USB cable -- is common and the amount of power delivered predictably defined by the USB standard, the choice of current adaptor is inconsequential.
[Image Source: Cleveland Leader]
This will make replacing power supplies much easier -- if it’s adopted.
The USB 3.0 Promoter Group is the group responsible for successfully developing and pushing the third-generation USB standard on the world. Its members include Microsoft Corp. (
), Hewlett-Packard Comp. (
), Intel Corp. (
), Texas Instruments, Inc. (
), Renesas Electronics Corp. (
), and ST-Ericsson -- a joint venture between NXP Semi. NV (
) and STMicroelectronics N.V. (
Still, even with
and a super-star ensemble of industry power players there's cause for skepticism, given the long history of fruitless efforts to move laptops away from proprietary adaptors, as commemorated in the well-known
". Let's hope this effort bears more fruit that those past failed bids.
USB 3.0 Promoter Group [PDF]
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7/24/2012 11:55:57 AM
thunderbolt is a way of sending information accross a cable.
usb is a defined standard with regard to data transfer and the size and shape of the connector and cable.
in thunderbolt the cable can be any thing - displayport connectors have been used so far but there is no reason why a different connector couldnt be used.
they could theoretically make a thunderbolt connection through a usb 3.0 port and have the best of both worlds.
7/24/2012 11:58:47 AM
looked into this further - intel first demoed a non optical light peak over a usb cable(1).
the usb forum people then banned it.
7/24/2012 3:00:08 PM
Yup, the USB consortium is pretty strict about how USB is used, it is a big reason why the mini-DisplayPort connector is being used for Thunderbolt instead. In the end it is ok given that it is becoming a common video connector, its use is royalty free, and the physical connector is smaller.
7/24/2012 2:13:52 PM
Thunderbolt/Lightpeak is a transport mechanism for other transmission protocols, like USB, PCIe SATA.
It will be a method of eliminating the motherboard. Think remote video cards, no need for internal storage, other than a little solid state memory.
Eventually I can picture copper internet replaced with optical to the home without the need for conversion from optical even in the home.
"This week I got an iPhone. This weekend I got four chargers so I can keep it charged everywhere I go and a land line so I can actually make phone calls." -- Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg
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