October 19, 2021

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Trying to solve USB confusion with new logos

Trying to solve USB confusion with new logos

The USB-C standard has made it easier to insert the plug, but it can be difficult for many to get an overview of the features on offer, for example when purchasing cables at the best possible capacity.

This week, the USB Implementers Forum was introduced (USB-IF) New logos will be better able to tell users what cables support.

First, however, one must realize that USB is not a single standard. There are at least three different things to know.

USB-C, USB4 og USB PD

USB Type-C (USB-C) 2.1 is the latest physical interface standard, i.e. plug, cable and connector. Both data and power can be transmitted over the cable. There are separate criteria for both.

The latest data transfer standard, that is, the USB protocol, is called USB4. Supports speeds up to 40 Gbps.

But USB4 and earlier are not the only data transfer protocols that can use the USB-C interface. Thunderbolt 3 and later, in addition to Displayport Alternate Mode 2.0, also use a USB-C interface.

In addition, there is a standard for power transmission, which is called USB Power Delivery (USB PD). The latest version is 3.1, and it supports power transmission with a power of up to 240W – 5A current at a voltage of up to 48V. This requires new cables.

New logos for certified cables and chargers will specifically identify what the maximum power is. For cables, the maximum data speed is also specified.


USB cables and chargers certified to the latest standards will soon be equipped with logos matching these. Illustration: USB-IF


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