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IEC and USB-IF Collaboration Supports Next-Generation Data Delivery and Device Charging Applications

Originally published by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC)
The International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) and the USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF) announced that they have expanded international standards cooperation to include the latest USB-IF specifications for high-speed data delivery and enhanced usages for device charging. In particular, the USB-IF has submitted to the IEC the USB Power Delivery (Rev. 2.0, v1.0), USB 3.1 (SuperSpeed USB 10 Gbps), and USB Type-C Cable and Connector specifications.

USB Power Delivery was developed with a vision of delivering universal charging to extend ease of use for consumers and reduce electronic waste by offering an alternative to proprietary, platform specific chargers.

The USB Power Delivery specification defines features that support the global adoption of interoperable external power supplies, including:

  • Increased power levels from existing USB specifications up to 100W
  • Bi-directional power capabilities to enable either a host or device to be either the provider of power or the consumer of power
  • Optimized power management across multiple peripherals to allow each device to take only the power it requires
  • Intelligent and flexible system level management of power
  • USB Power Delivery and USB performance capabilities can be delivered over a single-cable

The new USB Type-C specification, built on existing USB 3.1 and USB 2.0 technologies, was developed to facilitate thinner and sleeker product designs, enhance usability, and provide a growth path for performance enhancements for future versions of USB. Key characteristics of the USB Type-C connector and cable solution include:

  • An entirely new design tailored to work well with emerging product designs
  • New smaller size - similar in size to the existing USB 2.0 Micro-B
  • Usability enhancements - users will no longer need to be concerned with plug orientation/cable direction, making it easier to plug in
  • The USB Type-C connector and cable will support scalable power charging
  • Scalability - the connector design will scale for future USB bus performance

USB 3.1 delivers speeds up to 10 Gbps, providing support for audio/video that can drive Ultra-HD (4K) displays. USB hosts, hubs, and devices can be built to support a range of USB Power Delivery and performance capabilities to meet the needs of OEMs. Along with the new USB Type-C cable and connector, USB 3.1 and USB Power Delivery will bring enhanced applications for a truly single-cable solution for data and power delivery, building on the existing global ecosystem of USB/IEC 62680 series of International Standards-compliant devices. Devices supporting these new specifications are expected to come to market in 2015.

These new standards are also expected to advance global action on reducing e-waste and improving re-usability of power supplies with a range of electronic devices. IEC's approach for ongoing standardization work in this space is driven by the ultimate goals of increasing external power supply re-usability, supporting consumer convenience, maintaining product reliability and safety, and providing for future technology innovations. In addition, widespread adoption of the resulting International Standards will help to reduce the encroachment of poorly designed or manufactured aftermarket substitutes which may affect the operation of electronic devices in compliance with regulatory requirements.

The three USB-IF specifications have been submitted to IEC Technical Committee (TC) 100, Audio, video, and multimedia systems and equipment, to be considered for inclusion in the newly approved IEC International Standard IEC 62680 series, Universal Serial Bus interfaces for data and power. The U.S.'s David Carlton Felland serves as the chair of IEC TC 100, and the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) serves as the U.S. National Committee (USNC)-approved U.S. TAG Administrator to IEC TC 100. CEA is a member and accredited standards developer of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). Through the USNC, ANSI serves as the U.S. member body to the IEC.


Jana Zabinski

Senior Director, Communications & Public Relations


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Beth Goodbaum

Journalist/Communications Specialist


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