Skip to main content

Intel wants to transform USB into power port

A report by Peter Dandumont of TomsHardware France reports that Intel in a presentation at the Intel Developer Forum IDF proposed industry adoption of USB bus power as the "universal power" port for PCs and other devices.

This would require increasing its power support capacity from 500/900 milliamps with a voltage of 5 V (4.5 W), which limits it to charging small devices like tablets or phones, to at least 35 W — enough to power -based 3.5-inch external hard drive in RAID, small external screens or printers.

Some netbooks can also be charged via USB without using a conventional power supply, but not full-featured laptops that typically require between 60 and 120W and sometimes much more, so comprehensive support for charging laptops would require increasing USB's maximum voltage to as much as 42 V with a current intensity of 1.8 A, providing power
output around 385 W.

The article also notes that interestingly, Intel doesn't support USB 3.0 yet.. but proposes the following enhanced array of USB features:

• USB3 RAID with two drives operating on bus power only without AC
power adapters

• USB monitor/printer including USB hub attached to a network or
phone supplying enough power to charge the latter devices

• USB dock connected to a notebook or phone via a standard USB connector

• Renegotiation – allowing two provider capable battery operated devices to swap our roles based on their state of battery charge, and/or equalising power between two portable devices. With two devices connected running at 5 V, for example a laptop in a powered hub, when power runs low on the laptop, power direction would be renegotiated.