The USB standard will receive a new upgrade in the near future that could power various pieces of computer hardware, or even the whole system.
The version of the Universal Serial Bus port currently used is 3.0 and, as you probably know, it’s already being used to power various devices, such as mobile phones, tablets and digital cameras. This is possible because USB 3.0 offers 4.5 watts of power, enough to charge small devices.
A different version of USB 3.0, called USB BC, brings the power level up to 7.5 watts, but this is obviously not enough to power an entire system.
A new standard, however, baptized USB PD, is expected to be released in the near future, as the project has already been finalized in July. Several companies offered their support for the new standard, including Microsoft, Intel, ST-Ericsson and Renesas Electronics, according to News.com.
USB PD is able to provide up to 100 watts, enough to power a laptop, a monitor or several pieces of hardware at the same time. In the end, it could be used to power the entire system, but only with the proper optimizations.
The first USB PD iteration is very likely to see the daylight before year’s end, but it may only be released for testing purposes.
Microsoft confirmed yesterday that it currently considers developing low-cost diskless computers that could obviously appeal not only to home users, but also to small businesses and organizations. Windows 8 has been optimized to be installed on external devices and, thanks to the Windows To Go feature, it could easily eliminate some of the cables inside your computer and bring the price to a much more appealing level.