The USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF) recently announced that they are pumping up the power delivery specifications of USB-C from 100 watts to 200 watts.
This means users will be able to replace the barrel jack and the proprietary power brick to charge with the multipurpose USB-C cable used to charge smaller devices like handsets, lightweight laptops, tablets, and other gadgets.
The current 100W power rating of USB-C cables has held the industry back. There are many laptops that require 130W to 140W of power to charge and run at full bore simultaneously. Although manufacturers sell off-spec USB-C adapters, they are not constructed according to set standards.
The new 240W power rating that USB-IF is calling “Extended Power Range” or EPR for short will be able to charge an Alienware m17 gaming laptop over USB-C. There are still many laptops that demand more than 240W of power. Gaming desktops generally require far more power, with a 650W PSU or higher PSU required for the latest desktop graphics cards, and 240W may not be quite enough for the latest game consoles from Sony and Microsoft.
However, to take advantage of the new spec you will need new USB-C chargers and cables. Manufacturers might even need to tweak their charger designs as well.
The USB-IF’s announcement reads,
All EPR cables shall be visibly identified with EPR cable identification items.
This means the cable will need to support up to 5A and 50V to be compliant. Since the announcement was just made, it will take at least a year for manufacturers to start developing laptops and chargers compatible with the new specs.