New generation USB interfaces on their way

IEC and USB-IF expand cooperation to support next-generation high-speed data delivery and device charging applications

By Janice Blondeau

The IEC and USB-IF (USB Implementers Forum) recently announced that they have expanded their International Standards cooperation to include the latest USB-IF specifications for high-speed data delivery and enhanced usages for device charging.

USB supported and recognized worldwide

The USB-IF has submitted the USB Power Delivery (Rev. 2.0, v1.0), USB 3.1 (SuperSpeed USB 10 Gbps), and USB Type-C Cable and Connector specifications to IEC TC (Technical Committee) 100: Audio, video and multimedia systems and equipment. They’re to be considered for inclusion in the newly approved International Standards in the IEC 62680 series, Universal Serial Bus interfaces for data and power.

IEC has a longstanding relationship with the USB-IF and believes in the benefit of supporting USB specifications because of the strong worldwide and cross-industry backing behind the technology.

High-speed data delivery and two-way power

USB Power Delivery was developed with a vision of delivering universal charging to extend ease of use for consumers and reduce electronic waste by offering an alternative to proprietary, platform-specific chargers.

The USB Power Delivery specification defines features that support the global adoption of interoperable external power supplies, including:

  • Increased power levels from existing USB specifications up to 100 W
  • Bi-directional power capabilities to enable a host or device to be either the provider of power or the consumer of power
  • Optimized power management across multiple peripherals to allow each device to take only the power it requires
  • Intelligent and flexible system level management of power
  • USB Power Delivery and USB performance capabilities can be delivered over a single-cable. 

The new USB Type-C specification, built on existing USB 3.1 and USB 2.0 technologies, was developed to facilitate thinner and sleeker product designs, enhance usability and provide a growth path for performance enhancements for future versions of USB.

To market in 2015

USB 3.1 delivers speeds up to 10 Gbps (Gigabits per second), providing support for audio/video that can drive Ultra-HD (4K) displays. USB hosts, hubs and devices can be built to support a range of USB Power Delivery and performance capabilities to meet the needs of OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers). Along with the new USB Type-C cable and connector, USB 3.1 and USB Power Delivery will bring enhanced applications for a truly single-cable solution for data and power delivery, building on the existing global ecosystem of USB / IEC 62680 series of International Standards compliant devices. Devices supporting these new specifications are expected to come to market in 2015.

Reduce e-waste, increase safety and reliability

These new Standards are also expected to advance global action on reducing e-waste and improving re-usability of power supplies with a range of electronic devices.

The IEC approach for ongoing standardization work is driven by the ultimate goals of increasing external power supply re-usability, supporting consumer convenience, maintaining product reliability and safety, and providing for future technology innovations. In addition, widespread adoption of the resulting International Standards will help to reduce the encroachment of poorly designed or manufactured aftermarket substitutes which may affect the operation of electronic devices in compliance with regulatory requirements.

IEC and USB ongoing cooperation

The IEC recognizes the importance of evaluating the new USB specifications for inclusion in the IEC International Standard as they are clearly support the next generation of ICT and consumer products.

Adoption of USB Power Delivery, USB 3.1, and USB Type-C is growing fast and the USB-IF are working closely with IEC to promote the benefits of these USB specifications to enable the goal of a common external power supply for electronic devices.

About the USB-IF

The non-profit USB Implementers Forum, Inc. was formed to provide a support organization and forum for the advancement and adoption of USB technology as defined in the USB specifications. Further information, including postings of the most recent product and technology announcements, is available by visiting the USB-IF website at

USB IF logo 1/3 USB-IF facilitates the development of high-quality compatible USB peripherals
USB plugg The IEC and USB-IF have expanded their International Standards cooperation to include...
USB Type C ...the latest USB-IF specifications for high-speed data delivery and enhanced usages for device charging