Uniform USB-C power supply units: USB manager shoots against EU directive

In an unexpected twist, Jeffrey L. Ravencraft of all people shoots against the planned EU directive to introduce USB-C power supplies as the nationwide standard for charging devices such as smartphones. As President and Chief Operating Officer (COO), Ravencraft heads the USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF), which specifies the connection standard.

In one Feedback post essentially criticizes Ravencraftthat the current draft of the EU creates too many framework conditions for companies, which would slow down the further development of the USB standard. As a concrete example, he cites that the current draft already contains an outdated USB-C specification: The EU currently does not take into account the revision for fast charging with up to 240 watts from June 2021. With any future revision there would be further delays due to the bureaucracy.

Even Apple complained against the EU’s plans to force USB Type C as a connection standard, because as a single company you couldn’t introduce innovations without pushing the USB Implementers Forum in the desired direction. Apple introduced the anti-twist Lightning connector about years before the Type-C connector and would have to abandon it in 2023 if the EU pushes through its plan.

Meanwhile, Ravencraft would prefer to let the market decide when to switch to which connector, which speed level and which USB functionality – and when it is time for a general overhaul. The USB-IF director criticizes the fact that the EU has decoupled the Type-C connection from the rest of the USB ecosystem and does not see it as part of USB 4, USB 3.2 or even older generations. Some manufacturers still use outdated Micro-B connectors that the USB Implementers Forum specified two decades ago.

In addition, Ravencraft criticizes the option in the draft to use proprietary charging protocols apart from USB Power Delivery (USB-PD). Qualcomm, for example, is developing Quick Charge. The USB Implementers Forum would not test and certify such solutions. On the other hand, there is a risk of conflict with your own certification if the EU should introduce a test program with different criteria and logos.


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