There are two power ratings available for USB cables – 60W or 240W – to specify which level of power they support. Additionally, the USB-IF also revamped its USB4 certification logos, which denote the maximum transfer speeds supported (40Gbps or 20Gbps). There are also specific unified logos for cables that indicate both the data rates and charging speeds. Additionally, there’s a specific logo for certified USB chargers, denoting that they can deliver up to 240W of power to a device.
To clarify, this isn’t a new standard being defined today, it’s just a visual representation of the existing standards. Only devices that go through USB-IF’s certification process can carry these logos or use them in marketing materials. As such, that’s how consumers can identify whether they can trust a given charger to deliver power to their devices.
If a cable or charger has any of these certification logos, then consumers can rest assured that they will work with other cables and chargers with the same USB power delivery certification. The goal is to ultimately reduce confusion for consumers and prevent devices from breaking due to uncertified chargers or cables. The same applies for the data rate indicators, so consumers can know exactly what speeds to expect just by looking at the logos. The difference is, the logos that indicate data rates can be used for cables and hosts, while the power delivery logos are only meant for cables.
“With the new higher power capabilities enabled by the USB PD 3.1 Specification, which unlocks up to 240W over a USB Type-C cable and connector, USB-IF saw an opportunity to further strengthen and simplify its Certified Logo Program for the end user,” said Jeff Ravencraft, USB-IF President and COO. “With our updated logos, consumers can easily identify the USB4 performance and USB Power Delivery capabilities of Certified USB-C Cables, which support an ever-expanding ecosystem of consumer electronics from laptops and smartphones to displays and chargers.”
You can expect these certification logos to start showing up in marketing materials, product leaflets or labels, or on the products themselves in the near future. It’s a good idea to look for them before making a purchase if you want to make sure your devices are safe.