What is the difference between PD 3.0 and PD 3.1?

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From a literal point of view, USB PD3.1 can only be regarded as a small version update of USB PD3.0, but from a power perspective, this is a qualitative leap. What are the differences between USB PD3.1 and previous versions?


The USB PD2.0 fast charging standard was released in August 2014. It not only stipulates that the USB Type-C interface is the only standard interface, but also gives this interface more functions, such as charging, data transmission, audio transmission, etc. In terms of charging, USB PD2.0 defines support for 5V3A, 9V3A, 12V3A, 15V3A, and 20V5A output, with a maximum charging power of 100W. However, it was still an era when Micro USB interfaces were very popular, and the mobile phone market had basically been divided by private fast charging protocols such as QC, AFC, FCP, and PE. It was difficult to popularize USB PD fast charging. 


In November 2015, USB PD fast charging received a major version update and entered the USB PD3.0 fast charging era. There are three main changes in USB PD3.0 compared to USB PD2.0: a more detailed description of the device's built-in battery characteristics is added; the function of device software and hardware version identification and software update through PD communication is added, and the number Certificate and digital signature functions. To put it simply, from the perspective of charging parameters, USB PD3.0 and USB PD2.0 have not changed. They still support 5V3A, 9V3A, 12V3A, 15V3A, and 20V5A output, with a maximum power of 100W. However, this update has not improved the chaotic situation of fast charging standards in the mobile phone market. Fast charging standards are still independent and incompatible with each other.


In order to change the fragmentation of fast charging protocols in the mobile phone market, the USB-IF Association released an important update to the USB PD3.0 standard in February 2017, adding programmable power supply PPS based on the USB PD3.0 standard. PPS is a type of Power Supply supported in USB PD3.0. It is a power supply that uses the USB PD protocol output and can realize voltage and current regulation. The PPS specification integrates the current two charging modes of high voltage and low current and low voltage and high current. The voltage amplitude modulation drop is also 20mV, which is only one-tenth of the QC3.0 standard at that time, and the adjustment is more precise.

And the USB-IF Association has also reached a consensus with Thiel Labs to unify fast charging technology with the PPS fast charging standard. At present, PPS fast charging has become a fast charging standard with a very high share in the Android mobile phone camp. With the built-in charge pump of the mobile phone, it can achieve efficient and high-power fast charging. It is used by models of Xiaomi, Samsung, Meizu and other brands.


USB PD3.1 is the fast charging standard just released by the USB-IF Association. The USB PD3.1 fast charging standard is actually an update based on USB PD3.0 PPS fast charging. The USB PD3.1 fast charging specification divides power into two ranges: standard power range (SPR for short) and extended power range (EPR for short). The standard power range is the current mainstream USB PD3.0 PPS fast charging standard on the market, and the maximum charging power remains unchanged at 100W; while the newly added three voltages of 28V, 36V, and 48V belong to the expanded power range, and the three voltages correspond to The maximum output current is 5A, and the maximum output power can reach 240W.

In addition to adding three new sets of fixed voltages, the USB PD3.1 standard also adds three sets of adjustable voltage levels (AVS for short) in the expanded power range, namely 15V-28V 5A, 15V-36V 5A and 15V-48V 5A. . The minimum voltage regulation step of AVS is 0.1V, and it continues to use the constant power limit mode based on PDP.

The development of the USB PD fast charging standard has gone through nearly ten years, during which it has also experienced many iconic iterations. Among them, USB PD2.0 is a fast charging standard that is truly mass-produced and commercially available, and also lays the foundation for the unification of USB PD fast charging. USB PD3.0 is more updated in the protocol identification function, and the charging specifications have not changed.

The USB PD3.0 PPS fast charging standard adds a new programmable voltage level, achieving compatibility with most private fast charging protocols, and has become the most widely used fast charging standard in the Android mobile phone market.

USB PD3.1 mainly expands the scope of application of the USB PD fast charging standard. In addition to consumer products such as mobile phones and laptops, it can also be used in monitors, servers, power tools, and security POE power supply fields, realizing "everything can be charged.

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