USB-C PD 2.1 EPR, 240W Of Power
Here We Go With The Naming Schemes Again
The end of Standard Power Range USB-C 2.0 is nigh, with the announcement of the USB-C PD 2.1 EPR Enhanced Power Range specification. The cables will remain compatible with current ports and offer the same transfer rates, the difference is that the specification is capable of providing up to 48V @ 5A which is enough to power a fairly high end laptop. Physically the new USB-C PD 2.1 EPR cables will be indistinguishable from those currently on the market, electronically the new spec demands that pins A4-A9 and B4-B9 cannot short to ground when the cable is plugged in or removed.
That much power being delivered over USB means you will need to be very, very careful about where you purchase your cables from. The previous standard’s 100W could already pose a danger to your laptop, as Google’s most famous cable tester, Benson Leung, is well aware. The extra power transferred over USB-C PD 2.1 EPR adds to the risk posed by cheap cables, a short while unplugging this cable could cause a significant amount of damage. There is also the risk of fire, if the shielding and wiring is incapable of properly preventing heat building up and dealing with it without melting.
There are not many who will mourn the loss of power bricks; let’s hope for the same lack of regrets for early adopters of the new USB standard.
The biggest change by far in the new spec is support for USB Power Delivery at up to 48 V and 5 A—multiply the two and you get 240 W DC. Prior to the ratification of the new EPR standard, USB-PD was limited to 100 W (20 V at 5 A).