USB-C Power Delivery

USB-C is the new standard for power delivery, and it's being implemented in more and more devices. But what is USB-C power delivery? How does it work? And how do you charge devices with it?

What is USB-C PD? 

USB-Power Delivery (PD) is a fast-charging technology based on the USB-C standard. Certain Apple® and Android smartphones/tablets and various laptop brands support the technology, which provides much higher performance than standard charging methods.
 
USB-C PD is a new standard that can deliver up to 100 watts of power, which is enough to charge laptops and other devices that require more power than USB-C alone can supply. This specification was created by the USB-IF in response to requests from laptop manufacturers for a connector that could deliver more power.

The USB-C PD standard is compatible with the USB 3.1 and USB Power Delivery 2.0 specifications. The USB-C PD specification defines how devices can use the USB-C connector to supply power and how these devices are identified and managed. It defines what the pins in the connector do and how they can be used to provide power at various voltages and currents.

What are the benefits of USB-C PD?

USB-C PD is a power delivery spec that can provide up to 100W of power, which means that you can plug in a laptop and charge it. This is especially useful if the battery is dead and you need to get some work done. You also don't have to worry about the charger breaking or losing your charger because USB-C PD will work with any charger. USB-PD can charge smartphones/tablets up to 70% faster than a standard USB charger with 5 watts of power. This means that it does not take as long for the device to charge up to 100%.

It is an open standard, so you don't have to worry about proprietary chargers.

What are the benefits of USB-C PD?

USB-C PD can supply a greater amount of power than standard wall chargers, so it is especially useful for getting power back into devices fast. USB-PD can charge smartphones/tablets up to 70% faster than a standard USB charger that only offers 5 watts of power. Plus, since USB Power Delivery is an open widely adopted standard, more chargers are using the technology.

This flexibility means you won't have to worry as much about losing, breaking or not having your specific/proprietary charger because more chargers will work with your USB-C PD device.  

Is Power Delivery technology safe?

Yes. The USB Power Delivery chipset always delivers exactly the right amount of power. Whether it's a smartphone or a laptop, the charger recognizes the connected device and negotiates the required power to charge it as quickly as possible. This negotiation ensures a quick charge without delivering too much power or damaging the devices circuits.

USB Power Delivery 1.0, 2.0 and 3.0 Standards - Confused yet?

There is no need to be. There are three iterations of the USB PD standard. USB PD 1.0 is a rather basic version providing fixed power profiles, whereas the newer PD 2.0 and 3.0 revisions are more dynamic and provide greater flexibility.

USB Power Delivery 1.0

Profile

Voltage

Current

Power

Supported devices

1
5 V
2 A
10 W
smartphones, hard drives, small accessories
2
12 V
1.5 A
18 W
smartphones, tablets, Ultrabooks™, larger accessories
3
12 V
3 A
36 W
future smartphones, notebooks, displays, hubs
4
20 V
3 A
60 W
larger notebooks, hubs, docking stations
5
20 V
5 A
100 W *
workstations, hubs, external graphic cards

USB Power Delivery 2.0/3.0

Profile

Voltage

Current

Power

Supported devices

1
5 V
0.1 - 3.0 [A]
10 W
headphones, small accessories
2
9 V
1.67 - 3.0 [A]
15 - 27 W
smartphones, cameras and drones
3
15 V
1.8 - 3.0 [A]
27 - 45 W
tablets, and small laptops
4
20 V
2.25 - 3.0 [A]
3.0 - 5.0 [A] *
45 - 100 W
large laptops and displays
* Requires specially rated 100 W USB-C charging cable 

USB Power Delivery - Power Requirements per Device Class

Here is a brief overview of the power requirement of different types of devices.

USB Power Delivery - Fast Charging Times

USB charging is great, but it can take a long time to charge your phone or tablet if you're using a standard USB port. USB-C Fast Charging puts an end to that. See below for how fast you can charge your smartphone using a USB-C PD Charger with Fast Charging capability.


Charging method

Device

Cable

Charging time 
(up to 50%)

Charger rated power

Fast Charge for iOS
iPhone 12
Lightning/USB-C
30 minutes
18 W or higher
Fast Charge for iOS
iPhone X
Lightning/USB-C
30 minutes
18 W or higher
Fast Charge for iOS
iPad Pro
Lightning/USB-C
60 minutes
27 W or higher
PD for Android
Google Pixel 4
USB-C/USB-C 
37 minutes
18 W or higher
PD for Android
Google Pixel 4 XL
USB-C/USB-C 
37 minutes
18 W or higher

More Information