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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 (AAPL) iPhone, smartphones have made the leap from proprietary connectors to a single ubiquitous standard -- micro-USB.  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.  

But the USB 3.0 Promoter Group has published 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.

USB 3.0
[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. (MSFT), Hewlett-Packard Comp. (HPQ), Intel Corp. (INTC), Texas Instruments, Inc. (TXN), Renesas Electronics Corp. (TYO:6723), and ST-Ericsson -- a joint venture between NXP Semi. NV (NXPI) and STMicroelectronics N.V. (EPA:STM).

Still, even with past successes 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 XKCD comic "Standards".  Let's hope this effort bears more fruit that those past failed bids.

Source: USB 3.0 Promoter Group [PDF]



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RE: This would be awesome!
By Belard on 7/25/2012 5:54:39 AM , Rating: 2
Yes, I mean thunderbolt. (DOH!)

While the apple connector includes USB, its not an illegal device and its very much an Apple standard, its not rare.

Go to walmart or any general phone store and count up all the accessories for iOS products and compare them to the others. Guess what, apple has a standard that allowed accessories that cannot be said for anyone else. Samsung moves its USB connector depending on the phone.

And again, plugging in an apple connector smokes USB in terms of ease.

Apple helped develop Thunderbolt. The price for the new Thunderbolt macs didn't go up, neither did the monitors. Thunderbolt for PCs is quite expensive.

Now, I didn't say the new port on iPhone5 (and future iOS products) is thunderbolt. I said/meant it would have thuerbolt included. But it should include USB3.0 as well, or at least have USB3 if there is not Thunderbolt. USB3.0 would be easier to work with. We'll know in a few months.

But I'm betting TB & USB3.


"Paying an extra $500 for a computer in this environment -- same piece of hardware -- paying $500 more to get a logo on it? I think that's a more challenging proposition for the average person than it used to be." -- Steve Ballmer














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