THE INTERNATIONAL ELECTROTECHNICAL COMMISSION (IEC) has approved the USB charging specification, which means we might finally get rid of those pesky, proprietary power bricks and connectors.
The approved specification allows charging of up to 100W, which means that it will be possible to charge laptops with a universal charger and a USB cable.
Jeff Ravencraft from the Universal Serial Bus Implementer's Forum (USB-IF) has told The INQUIRER that the cables are backwards compatible, although new cables will be required if you want to go beyond 7.5W.
Furthermore the specification allows for cables to be used for charging both ways. In practice this will mean that you can use the cable to charge your laptop from a universal power brick and then use the same cable to charge your smartphone from your laptop.
"The approval of the specification by EC is very important both for us and for consumers. It will allow us to get rid of proprietary power bricks and just have a cable with a standardised USB connector," Ravencraft said.
He does however foresee that it will take quite a while for laptop makers to adopt and implement the USB charging standard.
"Laptop manufacturers actually make quite a lot of money on replacement power bricks and this market will suddenly disappear from them," Ravencraft added.
If the laptop manufacturers do not move fast enough there will be a market for small adapters that will allow you to charge laptops fitted with the old, proprietary jacks. µ
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