USB 3.0 could soon drive monitors, hard drives with 100W of power

USB 3.0 logoThe next USB 3.0 specification will provide up to 100 watts of power to devices, allowing users to power some of the more demanding gadgets on their desks without additional power supplies. The USB 3.0 Promoter Group announced that the standard would allow USB 3.0 ports to power and charge devices like notebook PCs and would remain backwards compatible with USB 2.0 devices.

USB 3.0 ports introduced high data transfer speeds of up to 5Gb/s to compatible components, and have also been able to maintain currents and voltages up to 900mA at 5V for a maximum power output of 4.5W. This was about twice the maximum power output of USB 2.0 ports, but a current USB 3.0 port would still struggle to power most external hard drives.

Since the new spec raises gives USB 3.0 more than twenty times its old power input and output, the slate of products the ports could power is much larger and includes monitors, desk lamps, and even notebook PCs. The beefier ports could clear up some of the crowding at wall outlets, and if adopted as the main power connector for items like laptops, could help eradicate proprietary ports.

The USB 3.0 Promoter Group says the new standard will be ready for industry evaluation at the end of 2011 and is set for release to manufacturers in early 2012.

Source: Ars Technica

Tags: USB

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