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USB SuperSpeed Power Spec To Leap From 10W To 100W

samzenpus posted about a year ago | from the power-up dept.

Power 242

Lucas123 writes "While news stories have focused on the upcoming jump from 5Gbps to 10Gbps for USB SuperSpeed, less talked about has been the fact that it will also increase charging capabilities from 10W to 100W, meaning you'll be able to charge your laptop, monitor, even a television using a USB cord. Along with USB, the Thunderbolt peripheral interconnect will also be doubling it throughput thanks to a new controller chip, in its case from 10Gbps to 20Gbps. As with USB SuperSpeed, Thunderbolt's bandwidth increase is considered an evolutionary step, but the power transfer increase is being considered revolutionary, according to Jeff Ravencraft, president of the USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF). 'This is going to change the way computers, peripheral devices and even HDTVs will not only consume but deliver power,' Ravencraft said. 'You can have an HDTV with a USB hub built into it where not only can you exchange data and audio/video, but you can charge all your devices from it.'"

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we've had a few (2)

nimbius (983462) | about a year ago | (#43517459)

fairly robust fibre optic solutions to date that carry data and are far more energy efficient. im confused as to why our peripherals dont use them

Re:we've had a few (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43517517)

because fibre optics can't carry power?

Re:we've had a few (1)

Githaron (2462596) | about a year ago | (#43517879)

What about making a cord that has two "wires". One would be fiber optic to enable the fastest possible data transfers with the lowest interference. The other would be a traditional copper wire that powers the device.

Re:we've had a few (5, Interesting)

rjr162 (69736) | about a year ago | (#43517975)

because fibre is much easier to break/snap than copper. Same reason the company my friend works for who installs media distribution systems into Lufthansa aircraft don't spec it out with fiber lines.. they use CAT 7 with the TERA style ends, because an over-zealous mechanic is more likely to snap a fibre optic line with his zip tie than a copper line

Re:we've had a few (1)

Dahamma (304068) | about a year ago | (#43518021)

Sounds like that would make devices and cables larger and more expensive by requiring two completely different interfaces in one connector...

Already done (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | about a year ago | (#43518145)

That's already been done in some Thunderbolt cables I think, though most of them right now are all copper... but the original idea was a fiber cable plus copper for power.

Re:we've had a few (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43517529)

Less power isnt the point...I want my data cable to also be my power source

Re:we've had a few (1)

alen (225700) | about a year ago | (#43517595)

how do charge your device via fiber?

i through my apple lighting port cable into my bag and keep my iphone plugged in all day long to charge it

Re:we've had a few (2)

Sponge Bath (413667) | about a year ago | (#43518463)

how do charge your device via fiber?

[old homeless drunk from Terminator]: Hey, buddy, did you just see a real bright light?

or firewire? (1)

goombah99 (560566) | about a year ago | (#43517643)

Firewire goes to 30GB/s and 45 watts (30v @ 1.5 amps) and you can daisy chain it. Seems like a better idea than inventing a non-backward compatible serial port and pretending it is somehow related to USBs of yore.

Re:or firewire? (5, Informative)

Baloroth (2370816) | about a year ago | (#43517765)

Firewire goes to 30GB/s and 45 watts (30v @ 1.5 amps) and you can daisy chain it. Seems like a better idea than inventing a non-backward compatible serial port and pretending it is somehow related to USBs of yore.

Do you have a source on the non-backwards compatibility thing? Because the USB spec release [usb.org] [PDF warning] for the new USB SuperSpeed states it will be.

I should add that the newest FireWire specs only go up to 800mb/s, so also a source on that would be nice.

Re:or firewire? (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year ago | (#43518003)

Didn't firewire have a more-or-less-vapor 1600mb/s flavor that worked over fiber runs and existed pretty much nowhere at all?

Re:or firewire? (1)

cbhacking (979169) | about a year ago | (#43518437)

Even if it did, and even if we assume you meant megabytes (MB) not milibits (mb) per second, 1.6GB/s is hardly anywhere near the 30GB/s that goombah99 claimed. I call BS.

Re:or firewire? (2)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about a year ago | (#43518431)

My USB connector on my Samsung Droid Charge is on the wiggly-loose fritz. If I plug in a 100 watt cord and wiggle it to get the connection to work, it's not gonna burst into flames is it?

Re:or firewire? (4, Interesting)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year ago | (#43517991)

While I'm not impressed by USB's mutations over the years, Firewire had the major drawback that(at least in practice, not sure if the paper demanded otherwise) there was a very, very heavy emphasis on 'up to' when it came to how much power could be delivered.

A small minority of actually-well-built workstations and the like wouldn't shrug at providing full specced power. More or less ordinary PCs usually had a floppy or molex connector to supplement PCI bus power; but didn't spring for a DC-DC converter, so (since 30v isn't readily available anywhere on the DC side of an ATX PSU) you generally got 12v, albeit at a decent amperage. Laptops? In practice, "firewire" pretty much meant 'whatever Apple did on the last couple of models of ibook and powerbook; because all the PCs omitted the power pins entirely for "i.link" or similar, which usually boiled down to ~19v, if on adapter, 12-ish if on battery.

The nominal maximum was certainly fairly spacious; but a powered firewire peripheral was essentially always on the hook for a DC-DC converter, and had to deal gracefully with(or simply refuse to work with, ideally in a documented way) substantially inferior power supplies from many devices.

5v 500ma was always pitiful; but (by virtue of being so pathetic) most devices actually did as well or better than they claimed to, and lots of peripherals could get away with only the cheapest of designs for handling bus power.

That's my bet for why "100watt USB" will suck. Sure, it'll be cute and all that POS hardware vendors can now have USB printers and things that are 'standards compliant' and will actually work if purchased 100% from approved vendors and plugged in just right; but everyone else will have wildly unpredictable actual power levels.

Re:we've had a few (1)

goombah99 (560566) | about a year ago | (#43517653)

fairly robust fibre optic solutions to date that carry data and are far more energy efficient. im confused as to why our peripherals dont use them

No power?

Re:we've had a few (4, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year ago | (#43517673)

fairly robust fibre optic solutions to date that carry data and are far more energy efficient. im confused as to why our peripherals dont use them

Given what users can do to strain-relief-equipped multistrand copper power cables, they may not be quite ready for optical fiber...

fiber is fragile (1)

SuperBanana (662181) | about a year ago | (#43517857)

Fiber optic is pretty fragile - far more so than a copper cable. Can't bend it past a certain radius, much less kink it. Optical's main benefit is distance, not speed...

TOSlink and all that jazz worked because you connect stuff and that's it- the cable rarely gets disturbed. Think of your average business traveler - they'd go through optical cables like candy.

Sure, you could make them heavier-duty since they don't have to stretch that far, but that grade of optical plastic or glass is $$$, and volume goes up (Pi)*r*r...

This 100w power standard is pretty stupid, though. We're talking power levels where fires will definitely be possible from damaged USB cables.

Re:fiber is fragile (2)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year ago | (#43518037)

TOSlink is sort of a weird one because it was optical; but usually over very short plastic runs, and at a data rate so low that even fairly pitiful copper has no trouble with it(which is why it is now commonly replaced by, or lives along side with, an RCA connector providing the same output in a copper flavor). I'm sure that there is some reason why optical was dragged in in the first place; but it's always a bit jarring to see.

Re:fiber is fragile (4, Interesting)

robot256 (1635039) | about a year ago | (#43518323)

The main benefit of TOSlink is avoiding ground loops in audio systems. This is especially important if you have a long run between ends of the building with a significant resistance in the building ground system between them.

Re:fiber is fragile (2)

Dahamma (304068) | about a year ago | (#43518109)

This 100w power standard is pretty stupid, though. We're talking power levels where fires will definitely be possible from damaged USB cables.

As opposed to all of the current laptop chargers, AC power cords, DC converter bricks, etc out there now?

charging smartphones by USB (5, Informative)

goombah99 (560566) | about a year ago | (#43517501)

I have an iphone 5 and like newer samsungs and ipads these want to draw 2.1 amps from USB, which is a no-no for standard USB. THere are a number of USB hubs that pretend that they are apple/samsung compatible, promising 2.1 amps. But what they don't tell you is that you can't have 2.1 amps if the hub is connected to a computer. It will only act as a USB high current charger when it is incapable of making a serial connection. It's either a serial port or a high current charger but not both.

I'm guessing this is because a lot of devices expect their current overload regulation to come from the USB hub which is limited to 0.5 amps by spec.

Will this superspeed use the same USB plug and thus have the same limit of either being a charger or a USB port, or will it do both at the same time.

Re:charging smartphones by USB (1)

unixisc (2429386) | about a year ago | (#43517569)

They may, but I'd assume that the cables would be very different. The main question I have though - having too many speed grades - low speed, full speed, high speed, super speed and now a new super speed - would the higher speeds automatically be degraded since the USB bus controller has to manage both the keyboard buses as well as the drives.

Re:charging smartphones by USB (1)

localman57 (1340533) | about a year ago | (#43517849)

Not if you put a USB hub of the higher speed inbetween. USB 2.0 and higher require that if a hub supports superspeed, then it has to retransmit the incoming lower speed data at superspeed rates to minimize the amount of time it ties up the bus. I assume 3.0 is the same.

Re:charging smartphones by USB (2)

Gaygirlie (1657131) | about a year ago | (#43517727)

You just said it yourself: the current specs say the upper limit is 0.5 amps. With USB3.0SS the upper limit is raised to 100W and therefore it can both charge and carry data simultaneously.

Re:charging smartphones by USB (1)

NatasRevol (731260) | about a year ago | (#43518529)

Unless its 220V power.

Dangerous (3, Insightful)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | about a year ago | (#43517537)

I'm not a fan of a "data" cable that can kill me.

Re:Dangerous (5, Funny)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#43517565)

Then stop wrapping them around your neck.

voltage? (1)

goombah99 (560566) | about a year ago | (#43517581)

What voltage is being proposed. At 5 v that's 20 amps!!

Re:voltage? (1)

rjr162 (69736) | about a year ago | (#43517939)

I know.. which depending on the run, using DC.. you're talking around 16 gauge to 18 gauge wire I'd have to guess. They aren't going to be your thin USB cables anymore.. going back more to the size of the original USB cables before they thinned down

Re:voltage? (3, Insightful)

synapse7 (1075571) | about a year ago | (#43517971)

And require 16 or 14 gauge wire, that will be nice and convenient to carry around. I can't see this adoption being too widespread, only special use cases.

Re:voltage? (2)

Dahamma (304068) | about a year ago | (#43518235)

From TFA:

"So with this new specification, you can go from very small devices with 5 volts, 2 amps or 10 watts -- where USB starts -- up to 20 volts 5 amps and 100 watts,"

It's no worse than a current laptop charger (bit better, actually, MB chargers are only 16.5v).

Re:voltage? (1)

rjr162 (69736) | about a year ago | (#43518495)

I guess I missed that part.. I figured they HAD to be used higher voltages but I just based off of a worst case 5v deal

Re:Dangerous (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43517617)

It will most certainly not kill you. The voltages supplied by the USB cable is far below what it needs to push enough amps through your body to disrupt any bodily function. People usually say "it's the amps that kill you", what it should say is that "it's the amps that PASSES through your body that kills you". If I remember correctly from the specs it will provide no more than 15 to 20 volts maximum. Which is still considered safe.

Re:Dangerous (3, Informative)

Trepidity (597) | about a year ago | (#43517819)

In theory it should also be doing some kind of negotiation before pushing power, such as ensuring that it has a connection to something that speaks USB on the other end (as opposed to, say, your finger, which doesn't), and that resistance is within the expected range for the cable. It's not "always on" current like an electric socket is.

Re:Dangerous (1)

sim2lew (2893283) | about a year ago | (#43518101)

In theory it should also be doing some kind of negotiation before pushing power, such as ensuring that it has a connection to something that speaks USB on the other end (as opposed to, say, your finger, which doesn't), and that resistance is within the expected range for the cable. It's not "always on" current like an electric socket is.

You don't push power or current, you draw it. Your finger presents such a high resistance that I'd be surprised if you could even draw a microamp from a 100W@5V supply, let alone the full 20 amps.

Re:Dangerous (4, Interesting)

Joce640k (829181) | about a year ago | (#43517855)

OTOH 20 amps is enough for a USB powered Tesla coil, which might kill you.

Can't wait!

Re:Dangerous (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year ago | (#43517861)

The original spec included a provision for 'fuck-youSB' power; but patent issues with Tazer inc. led to that being dropped...

Re:Dangerous (1)

skids (119237) | about a year ago | (#43517661)

Having looked at the PoE specs, it would be very hard to start a fire or shock oneself with that technology. It is very careful about only providing juice when it sees a valid endpoint on the other side and ensuring that the line resistance is not too high. About the only way to defeat it would be to inject a point resistance on a very short patch cable (within a few feet of the switch) which would dissipate the heat budget for a 300-foot cable in a small area without exceeding the resitsance budget. That would be hard to do simply by running over a cable with a chair.

Given USB's repeated history of slipshod designs I'm less confident that a sane power negotiation protocol will be designed in. (Anyone know?)

The TFA mentions them seeking government standards that require devices to be powerable off USB. While I'm in favor of ending the vendor-specific-charger nonsense through standardization perhaps even to the point of legislation, I would hate to see such a manuver sabotage PoE's place in the market just when laptop and tablet power is getting low enough to have a one-plug enterprise-worthy power+data solution.

Re:Dangerous (2)

denzacar (181829) | about a year ago | (#43517959)

About the only way to defeat it would be to inject a point resistance on a very short patch cable (within a few feet of the switch) which would dissipate the heat budget for a 300-foot cable in a small area without exceeding the resitsance budget. That would be hard to do simply by running over a cable with a chair.

How about a dog or a cat biting into it?

Or a small child deciding to lick an open end of an USB extension cable dangling from the desk?

Re:Dangerous (2)

skids (119237) | about a year ago | (#43518427)

Like I said with PoE, there is constant monitoring of the electrical characteristics of the line. A dog biting into a live PoE link that had already completed negotiation would most likely trip the detection, and power would be removed within a tenth of a second. The dog could be especially unlucky and manage to hit it in just the right way to cause itself harm, but the probability of this is low AFAICT. Stray ends of PoE cable do not supply power until they detect a signature using a low voltage, low current probe, and damaging oneself with them (unless you were playing around with electronics components) would be very unlikely.

I can't speak for USB, Firewire, or the proposed 100W USB; I simply have not read those specs. I do see that some mention of other specs (e.g. HDBaseT) opting to comply with the PoE standard.

Re:Dangerous (2)

ericloewe (2129490) | about a year ago | (#43518025)

USB is strictly for short distances, due to timing concerns (if I recall correctly). PoE isn't going anywhere, but it's not like manufacturers were interested in adding complexity to their laptops for a very small subset of users (within a niche that's small in its own right) who would pay for such a thing.

Re:Dangerous (1)

skids (119237) | about a year ago | (#43518541)

but it's not like manufacturers were interested in adding complexity to their laptops for a very small subset of users

You are aware that corporations, not just individual consumers, buy lots of computers and gadgets, no?

Re:Dangerous (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year ago | (#43518115)

PoE had the advantage(in terms of safety) of being heavily designed around the "As much power as possible; but Do Not trip any limits that would cause this to be treated as a power cable, rather than a data cable, for regulatory or insurance reasons" constraint.

Since the whole point was to make it cheaper to operate small ethernet-connected peripherals, it was absolutely necessary that nothing happen that would cause all that twisted-pair running through the walls to suddenly void your fire insurance or require a licensed electrician to go over the place with a fine toothed comb(since, at that point, you are getting dangerously close to the cost of just running a few more AC jacks and using the cheap plugpacks).

Since USB's terrible length limits more or less entirely remove any in-wall or permanent installs(that don't run over proprietary converters, which are free to do whatever they want, since there is absolutely no expected standardization between brands, models, or even necessarily anything other than the two devices that shipped in the same box), they probably won't have the benefit of grim imaginary fire marshals standing over their shoulders.

Re:Dangerous (1)

wiredlogic (135348) | about a year ago | (#43517899)

You can't get the full current out of the power supply without going through a negotiation phase. If that doesn't happen the interface defaults to normal current limit of 0.5A. The same thing happens today with the USB 2.0 charging ports capable of delivering up to 2.1A.

Hell on power supplies (5, Interesting)

Tvingo (229109) | about a year ago | (#43517545)

So if you have 4 USB SS ports on a motherboard that motherboard is going to have to be able to supply 400W @ 5V? You can't be serious. We'll need dedicated power connections on the motherboard just to supply this.

The example of using a TV to power multiple devices raises the same concerns. Now the TV power supply will be much more complicated. Rather than power just the 60-70W the TV draws it needs to have a power supply that could supply 100's of extra watts?

The only application I see for this is to use 100W USB SS ports on walls for a common household DC standard interface. That could be interesting, but integrating it into devices is not simple. It adds levels of complexities to the devices that will need to supply the power.

Re:Hell on power supplies (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43517571)

That's a ridiculous thing to say. Not every device is going to draw 100W!

Standard Practice with electronics (3, Insightful)

RobertLTux (260313) | about a year ago | (#43517663)

actually the power supply would need to have an extra 450 watts since you NEVER design to full rating you at the least design for the loads to be at most 90% of Full (prevents a fire hazard).

The point is if the spec says XXX watts are available then XXX+Y watts had better be available (nasal demons are allowed for drawing under spec).

reprap, make me breakfast! (2)

Thud457 (234763) | about a year ago | (#43517773)

I eagerly await our USB toasters, arc welders and cutting lasers.

Re:reprap, make me breakfast! (1)

ericloewe (2129490) | about a year ago | (#43518059)

100W toaster/arc welder/cutting laser? Sure, if you enjoy slightly warm bread, non-soldered metals and only cut fabric.

Re:Hell on power supplies (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year ago | (#43517707)

That's a ridiculous thing to say. Not every device is going to draw 100W!

No; but if there is a nontrivial risk that any device is going to, every USB connector needs to be sturdy enough to handle being the lucky winner, and the power supply needs to be sufficient for at least one such device, along with a graceful, not-too-likely-to-result-in-user-rage-and/or-returns, mechanism for informing the user about power limits if the PSU isn't up to the task of multiple such devices.

The uncertainty will be exciting.

Re:Hell on power supplies (1)

NemoinSpace (1118137) | about a year ago | (#43517709)

I don't think you get the whole power "rating" thing. - unless of course you meant .1mbW.

Re:Hell on power supplies (3, Insightful)

msauve (701917) | about a year ago | (#43517645)

I doubt the spec will say a device must be able to deliver 100W. It will be allowed, not required. There will be negotiation involved to determine the max power a device will deliver/can draw.

Really, the only use you can see is a wall outlet? How about standardizing laptop power on this, eliminating all the proprietary "brick on a leash" power supplies, much like has happened with (most) cell phones? How about a single cable connection between a desktop and printer (no separate power cable for the printer)? How about a USB air conditioner, not just a fan (jk :-) )?

Re:Hell on power supplies (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | about a year ago | (#43517809)

Have fun connecting that printer to your laptop while battery powered ...

Re:Hell on power supplies (4, Insightful)

localman57 (1340533) | about a year ago | (#43517877)

The laptop has the ability to just say no. Properly behaved devices on the current USB bus must ask the host if they can switch from the minimal 100mA to the 500mA current limit. If the host says no, you're not supposed to do it. If the printer pulls it anyway, that's a problem with the printer, not the laptop.

Re:Hell on power supplies (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43518283)

Properly designed supplies will only deliver rated current in the face of an effective short, so the worst that would happen on any decent laptop would be a fast battery drain.

On poorly-designed laptops you'll get roasted chestnuts.

Re:Hell on power supplies (3, Funny)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year ago | (#43518143)

Have fun connecting that printer to your laptop while battery powered ...

A small prize will be awarded to the first rootkit that successfully uses only ACPI power-draw data to successfully recover the text being sent to a laser printer...

Re:Hell on power supplies (2)

Bearhouse (1034238) | about a year ago | (#43517767)

You beat me to it. Plus, want to bet that even if the devices do claim to able to supply 100w simultaneously to 'n' ports this will be via a very inefficient power supply that will, for most people, most of the time, just be sitting there unused but wasting more power than it should have done if just designed to power the unit it was supplying...

Mind you, if I can throw out the dozens of power supplies I have plugged in around the house for just ONE standard, that's a big win...

Re:Hell on power supplies (2)

Gaygirlie (1657131) | about a year ago | (#43517789)

So if you have 4 USB SS ports on a motherboard that motherboard is going to have to be able to supply 400W @ 5V? You can't be serious

Most likely you'll have one USB3.0SS -port capable of putting out the full 100W and the rest will be limited to something much, much lower. Possibly even zero ports that can do the full 100W. Then the manufacturers will be making these highly-expensive, "premium" motherboards that sport more 100W ports so as to gouge money from the people who want that functionality.

Rather than power just the 60-70W the TV draws it needs to have a power supply that could supply 100's of extra watts?

Well, good thing, then, that the spec makes the 100W - support optional? Also, it's perfectly possible that the TV will have e.g. 4 ports, but share the 100W between all of them -- if you have 4 devices connected, with each only taking 20W you're good, but if some device requests 80W either it or the other devices will be denied.

Re:Hell on power supplies (1)

localman57 (1340533) | about a year ago | (#43517897)

I'm guessing what we'll see is hubs that support this, with their own power brick. You plug the hub into the PC to deal with data, and the device into the Hub. This is already the case if you want to support multiple devices that add up to more than 500mA. You have to plug them into a powered hub.

Dynamic power draw? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43517801)

That makes me wonder, has anyone created a PSU that dynamically draws power as its needs rise?

What's that Mr.Motherboard, you need more juice? Switching on another rail.

Is this at all possible without absolutely wrecking the simplicity of designs, or is it already being done now?
I've never actually directly measured how much my PC uses when inactive and when heavily active. (sans GPU)
I'd assume they do draw as much as is needed, but something says I am wrong. But it also doesn't explain where all that power goes to if it isn't being used.
Other parts of the PC don't suddenly get warmer when most cycles are the idle process, so that is my reasoning.

I dunno, not an electronics expert. Although it was one avenue I was going to go down in life at one point.
These days it is amateur-ish at best. Lesser even.

Re:Dynamic power draw? (1)

localman57 (1340533) | about a year ago | (#43517913)

That makes me wonder, has anyone created a PSU that dynamically draws power as its needs rise?

Yes, all of them do this already, unless I misunderstand you. A switching power supply only pulls what it needs from the wall (plus a bit of inefficiency) to supply what the computer demands. Check out the 80-Plus standards for an idea of different efficiencies at different percentages of total load.

Re:Dynamic power draw? (1)

Ost99 (101831) | about a year ago | (#43517961)

It draws what it needs.
The efficiency of the psu differs at different loads, but any bronze / silver / gold 80+ psu will have a decent efficiency from around 10% load and up.

Re:Dynamic power draw? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43517993)

"has anyone created a PSU that dynamically draws power as its needs rise?"

They sure have: that is exactly what a power supply does. A correctly designed one can do it completely in analog simply by incorporating feedback and a voltage reference. Modern ones use some tricks to do it with great efficiency.

Re:Dynamic power draw? (1)

sim2lew (2893283) | about a year ago | (#43518127)

As I stated further up, this already happens and is actually inherent in electronics as a subject. The PSU will only supply the current that the motherboard is attempting to draw, up to its rated maximum.

Re:Dynamic power draw? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43518331)

I'd assume they do draw as much as is needed, but something says I am wrong.

Two seconds thinking about what the "law of conservation of energy" actually means would have showed you that you were right.

Re:Hell on power supplies (1)

c0lo (1497653) | about a year ago | (#43517947)

So if you have 4 USB SS ports on a motherboard that motherboard is going to have to be able to supply 400W @ 5V? You can't be serious. We'll need dedicated power connections on the motherboard just to supply this.

You'd better believe it.
For the USB4.0, we're prepared the spec for an integrated mini-generator at 1kW at least: you see, your phone is not mobile if you are not mobile; and you are not mobile unless you can at least ride a scooter. But why stop here? use 20 USB4.0 hubs and you won't need a Tesla.

Re:Hell on power supplies (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | about a year ago | (#43518359)

So if you have 4 USB SS ports on a motherboard that motherboard is going to have to be able to supply 400W @ 5V? You can't be serious. We'll need dedicated power connections on the motherboard just to supply this.

Not to mention what voltages are involved.

At 100W, you're not going to use 5V anymore - you're talking 20A, and your USB cables will be like jumper cables to have the ampacity without losing it all in the cable (cable losses are IIR losses - they go up with the square of the current).

You're probably going to make it a 48V Vbus (to keep with industry standard voltages), where your cables are now only going to carry just over 2A, which still makes for decently thin cables that can be packed up and moved. But of course, it means your power supply has to be able to supply 48V. And the voltages are getting high enough to be dangerous. And probably needing new plugs and connectors so the PCB creepage distances are maintained - don't want it to arc over to neighbouring traces now, do we?

i predict a 10x surge in replacent parts (2)

NemoinSpace (1118137) | about a year ago | (#43517557)

100W Hot swappable. I really don't think the chinese are up to it. I'll have to double check the specs. (Will they)?

Re: i predict a 10x surge in replacent parts (1)

dgatwood (11270) | about a year ago | (#43517769)

Inrush is still probably limited to a few hundred mA. After negotiation, the device can power up additional components that draw more power. Devices won't be drawing that much power while you're plugging it in.

Crappy idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43517559)

Now all the cables on your desk will be like power cords or risk not being 'Super Speed' compatible.

Is it just me or is USB getting suspiciously close (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43517585)

One of the main problems with FireWire was that it required expensive cables due to the high quality cables needed to carry the bulk power. With this spec change and the data model for SS USB, have we now got a high tech FireWire-- with all of the disadvantages and none of the advantages (I.e. daisy chaining. Guarantees about latency etc).

Re: Is it just me or is USB getting suspiciously c (4, Informative)

king_nebuchadnezzar (1134313) | about a year ago | (#43517635)

Repost here as I accidentally posted as AC. One of the main problems with FireWire was that it required expensive cables due to the high quality cables needed to carry the bulk power. With this spec change and the data model for SS USB, have we now got a high tech FireWire-- with all of the disadvantages and none of the advantages (I.e. daisy chaining. Guarantees about latency etc).

Re: Is it just me or is USB getting suspiciously c (1)

localman57 (1340533) | about a year ago | (#43517935)

USB has always had the idea of different grades of cable. The 1.5MBps interface for keyboards and mice was specifically created in part so that you could use a really thin, crappy cable leading to the mouse. That way you didn't have to use the better cable required for 10MBps. Power will be the same way, although I'll be interested to see how they keep you from trying to pull 20A through a crappy 26 gauge cable ebay unbranded cable.

Vaporware, for now (1)

Zinho (17895) | about a year ago | (#43517587)

FTFA:

"I think we'll see products in the market by the Christmas season in 2014," Ravencraft said. "The companies have to build silicon - device, host, bridge and hub silicon."

So it looks to be quite a ways out. Still, I'd love to see a video output spec that doesn't have mandatory DRM. I didn't see any mention of HDMI in the article, so there's a slim chance of this new interface not being broken by design...

oblig (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43517627)

"almost, but not quite, entirely unlike usb".

How Earth Day of you (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43517667)

Increase Power Consumption.

It's Earth Day.

That's not a Good Thing.

It's a Bad Thing.

Re:How Earth Day of you (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43518351)

Speaking as a resident of Minnesota, where we are projected to get another 6-9 inches of snow today, in April:

Global warming is a GOOD thing. Remind me to buy another 0.36 mpg SUV tonight to spread that CO2 around.

ugh! (2)

markhahn (122033) | about a year ago | (#43517683)

the current micro-USB connector kinda sucks. if we're going O(100x) more watts, maybe we should take the opportunity to do a better connector, too.

symmetric would be nice, and less prone to jamming, misalignment and torquing.

Re:ugh! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43517753)

We could go back to PS/2 or S-Video style, where you accidentally bend all the pins every time you attempt to plug it in...

Re:ugh! (2)

Colonel Korn (1258968) | about a year ago | (#43517803)

We could go back to PS/2 or S-Video style, where you accidentally bend all the pins every time you attempt to plug it in...

I really like the new expensive Apple connector I received with my iPhone 5. It's going to be the thing I miss most when I sell it to go back to Android.

Re:ugh! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43518009)

>maybe we should take the opportunity to do a better connector, too.

USB 3.0 and related specs here:
http://www.usb.org/developers/docs/

5.3.4 Shows the micro connecor family. USB 3.0 requires the extra pins, but unfortunately, they have elected to make a siamese twins version of the micro connector.

There is no symmetrical connectors for the USB ones (so far and probably later). You want a lightning connector.

Re:ugh! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43518179)

Yeah, well, we're going to have to, right? I don't think the microUSB connector can handle all that power.

A USB toaster might be a possibility (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43517695)

Finally A USB toaster might be a possibility.

Re:A USB toaster might be a possibility (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43517783)

Oh boy. I can just imagine what kind of extended market this provides to all those silly gadgets which do not use the actual USB bus but only draw power from it.

Re:A USB toaster might be a possibility (1)

RussR42 (779993) | about a year ago | (#43517965)

Just put a display on the side of your USB toaster. Then you can watch TV while you toast. A sort of Video Toaster [wikipedia.org] .

New Power Spec Released Last Year (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43517711)

Released last year.

http://www.usb.org/press/USB_Power_Delivery_Spec_Completion_FINAL_072712.pdf

You don't need the new 10 Gbps spec to get 100 W charging. Also, the spec says up to 100 watts. See links below.

http://www.usb.org/developers/powerdelivery/
http://www.usb.org/developers/powerdelivery/PD_1.0_Introduction.pdf

power my vacuum (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43517759)

I want to vacuum my house using a usb connected to my computer...

I'll believe this will be used by OEM's.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43517763)

..as soon as they all standardize on a single power input plug. Not gonna happen.

Heck yeah! (1)

rickb928 (945187) | about a year ago | (#43517775)

I'm looking forward to charging my monitor!

There's a terrible idea... (4, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year ago | (#43517845)

This "100watt USB!!!" nonsense has been floating around for a while, and it just never seems to get any better.

Uncertainty is Bad. 100watts is a lot of power. Your laptop's brick is almost certainly specced for less than that. Even a desktop PSU will likely be 250-350, outside of gamers and workstations(and often the upper end of the range is...optimistic... at best). Now, if we have this '100watt USB', what are devices going to do? is your next laptop going to ship with a 265 watt brick, so that it has the same 65 watts for itself as your current one does, and can handle both its ports being used? Is it going to ship with exactly the same brick and simply brown out the USB port at some unpredictable power level?(extra credit awarded if that unpredictable level depends on whether the battery is charging or not, and the current CPU load...) If "100watts" is actually "anywhere between ~15 watts and 100watts, largely unpredictable to the consumer", what are peripheral manufacturers going to target? What good is theoretical capacity that you can't actually use because a nontrival-but-hard-to-predict percentage of your customers can't actually deliver it?

Bus power is nice because it reduces cabling and complexity. However, if it isn't dependable, you can't rely on it, so you have to fall back on designs that pretend it isn't available. Now you have more expensive USB ports(in some devices) and wall warts or PSUs for your higher power peripherals! What a win!

This isn't to say that any increase in bus power is bad(given USB's use cases, 'enough power to spin up a 2.5 inch HDD' or 'enough power to charge a smartphone' are pretty useful things. However, you can't just keep pushing the ceiling without limit: the wider the uncertainty, the greater the costs(for devices that actually engineer to spec and include the capability to support the top of the range) and the greater the limits and confusion(for devices that target more realistic real-world output values, and for the poor bastards who think that 'USB' means 'works when plugged into my USB port').

Re:There's a terrible idea... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43517887)

is your next laptop going to ship with a 265 watt brick

If we had USB SS power specs, we would have never had laptop power bricks to begin with...

Re:There's a terrible idea... (1)

localman57 (1340533) | about a year ago | (#43518007)

That's brilliant. The idea that I can buy a 100W usb wall wart to plug my laptop into instead of a proprietary dell adapter. That could do for laptops what USB charging did for cell phones...

Re:There's a terrible idea... (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year ago | (#43518225)

is your next laptop going to ship with a 265 watt brick

If we had USB SS power specs, we would have never had laptop power bricks to begin with...

But how will my USB-powered laptop power its USB-powered peripherals? Are we going to have USB-power injectors, that pass the data lines through to the laptop and the power rails to a second wall wart?

(We already had a mini taste of this with the rPI, which ran from USB power, and so tended to have issues with brownouts on its own USB host ports).

Re:There's a terrible idea... (1)

MintyKiwi (2904129) | about a year ago | (#43518473)

It will simply provide sub-SS power... doubt your mouse and keyboard are going to need 100W... ;)

Re:There's a terrible idea... (1)

Solandri (704621) | about a year ago | (#43518185)

Now, if we have this '100watt USB', what are devices going to do? is your next laptop going to ship with a 265 watt brick, so that it has the same 65 watts for itself as your current one does, and can handle both its ports being used?

On top of that, power supply efficiency starts to drop off steeply [twimgs.com] when power draw is only a small fraction of the power supply's capacity.

This is news? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43517853)

http://hardware.slashdot.org/story/12/07/24/028230/usb-30-100w-power-standard-seeks-to-end-proprietary-chargers

How is this any different? (other than the mention of lightning connector which im sure nobody gives a frak about...)

Smokin hot wires (2)

WaffleMonster (969671) | about a year ago | (#43517979)

USB 2.0 section 7.2.1.2.1 says 5 A max as in when you hit it the protection circuit kicks in and limits or shuts down current.

To actually pull 5A means the required protection circuit would need to trip above 5A to be useful which violates this section.

The more reality based problem is 28 gauge wire over 10-16 FT of cable carrying 5 amps is really stretching it...the voltage losses in that scenario will significantly pull down the actual watts being delivered into heating the wire.

At 10 ft the voltage drop when pulling 5 amps is ~6 volts. At 16 ft the drop is a staggering ~10 volts.

Unless there is a whole lot of intelligence to probe wire losses as part of the power specification and take the wire itself into consideration when calculating maximum current availability 100 watts over only 20 volts is really stretching it.

Re:Smokin hot wires (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43518121)

Well, 100W at 20 volts is fine. The wires will as you said be thick. But the real problem is the connection. I sincerely doubt the USB connector is specified for that kind of ampereage.

100 Watt Lightbulbs (1)

Zamphatta (1760346) | about a year ago | (#43518477)

...perhaps in 10 years, USB lightbulbs will be the norm and young teenagers will be telling their little siblings about when we used to screw in light bulbs. Oh man, that would mean all those "how many ___ does it take to screw in a lightbulb" jokes will be outdated.
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