Understanding How USB Charging Actually Works

The technology industry has finally come around and started to create a standard for the charging of our devices including our smart phone. For many years we have made us of proprietary power adaptors and power supplies that aren’t really that aesthetically pleasing in design. The development of USB charging has provided a way of charging our devices by simply plugging in into a USB port. USB plug adaptors are also much smaller than power block chargers so you wouldn’t have to worry about any issue in space when finding an outlet to plug it on.

fast phone charger

USB charging cord

Around a decade ago, everyone had to make sure that when they were charging their gadgets and devices the correct amount of power was being supplied. A problem with that before was that power supplies weren’t even all labeled so you weren’t sure which ones you could use to properly juice up your phone or other gadgets. These days you can easily charge your smart phone at someone else’s house, connect your devices into your PC, and even directly download the photos you have in your camera onto your TV. This has all been made possible with the standard connector. However, with this comes another issue and that is power, USB power.

It is important to note that not every USB connector, charger, and cable is made the same. If you have used different ones you might have noticed a difference especially when it comes to the power. You might find that a USB port on your computer will put out more power than other sockets. There are even some PCs that can be used to charge one’s phone and gadgets through the port even if the PC itself I turned off. Now let’s take a look at how USBs can actually charge your devices.

Today, there are four different specifications of USBs and these are 1.0, 2.0, 3.0, and 3.1. For now, we are going to focus on the most common specification, the USB 3.0 interface. In the USB system there is always the host and the device between which the USB data transfer occurs. Your computer acts as the host and the device is the one connected like your smart phone. Once both are connected through the USB port, power will flow from the PC to the phone. Data can also be exchanged between both as you can copy and transmit files between both.

Cables that are compatible with USB 3.0 have a total of nine wires inside. When you look into the specifications, there are three main elements, the dedicated charging port, the charging downstream port, and the standard downstream port. The dedicated charging port is something that you would find inside USB wall chargers while the other two can be found inside the PC. The charging downstream port and the dedicated charging port can dish out 1.5 thousand milliamps or 1.5 amps.

You can find a variety of USB chargers today including fast USB chargers that can provide much more power to your phone allowing it to be charged a lot faster than regular chargers.

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