New USB spec could reduce charging times

Posted by Humphrey Cheung

Beijing (China) - The USB Implementers Forums has announced a new charging specification that increases the current available to devices.  According to the Battery Charging Revision 1.0 specification, hubs, wall chargers and high-powered computer ports can provide up to 500 milliamps (ma) of power.  Ports for lower-power devices can provide 2.5 mA, 100 mA or 500 mA of electricity.

USB chargers are common with many gadgets including Bluetooth headsets, some cell phones and many MP3 players.  Many devices come with USB wall chargers, but mini-USB cables can provide some power in an emergency.  The organization also decreed that devices with completely dead batteries can charge at 100 mA.  This allows dead devices to charge up even though they don’t have enough power to turn on.

In related USB news, the Implementers Forums has announced that products from Alereon, Intel and NEC have passed initial certification testing for wireless USB.  The host and device side controllers will one day power devices that can transmit up to 480 Mb/sec at 3 meters and 110 Mb/sec at 10 meters.