One of the biggest pet peeves in a technology enthusiast's life is the plethora of proprietary power cables that plague the consumer market, each with a slightly different design. Can't we all just get along and charge via USB? That utopian vision took one step closer to becoming reality yesterday, as the USB 3.0/2.0 Promoter Groups announced a USB power delivery spec that makes the every-port capable of delivering up to 100W of pure power. Yep, your PC can now charge a notebook. Heck, a laptop could even theoretically charge another notebook.
"The USB Power Delivery specification enables a switchable source of power without changing cable direction," the groups' press release states. There's a slight catch; in order to deliver the full 100W, you'll need to pick up special, beefier USB Power Delivery-certified cables. The USB cords you have shoved into your junk drawer will still charge auxiliary devices, but they'll pack a less potent electrical wallop.
“We believe USB Power Delivery is the next big step in the USB evolution to provide high bandwidth data and intelligent power over a simple, single, ubiquitous cable,” Robert Hollingsworth, Senior Vice President and General Manager of the USB Products Group at SMSC, says in the press release.
Thunderbolt lovers may disagree with that "One cord to rule them all" assessment, however; while USB 3.0 now moves a lot of juice, Thunderbolt still moves more data than its counterpart.