11 January 2022

For years, we have been observing ultra-fast development in the new technology sector. Every year, hundreds of intelligent devices and innovative solutions hit the market. Each of them is aimed at facilitating and improving users' everyday life. One of the interesting and noteworthy innovations is Power Delivery (PD) technology.

on the table next to the laptop is a black USB charger with Power Delivery PD

What is Power Delivery?

Technology based on Power Delivery uses a USB-C port to charge devices. The great advantage of this solution is that PD allows for fast charging of small electronic devices such as mobile phones or wireless headphones, as well as devices with larger dimensions such as laptops or tablets. It's a versatile and extremely practical charging option. It doesn't matter whether the device runs on Android, Microsoft or iOS. A very important advantage of this technology is that each time a device is connected to the charger, the maximum power with which the equipment can be charged is determined. Thanks to this we can be sure that the charging parameters are always optimally matched to our device.

An important feature of chargers with PD, is the operation in several voltage profiles. In each Power Delivery version profiles are selected according to the type of device being charged.

table with USB Power Delivery 1.0 parameters

table with USB Power Delivery 2.0 and 3.0 parameters

*only with 100 W USB-C cable

person connects the cable to the smartphone with Power Delivery and starts charging the battery

Choosing a charger

While buying a new charger for phone and watch or book reader may seem trivial, that's not entirely true. In the past, each electronics manufacturer offered product-specific chargers. Nowadays, charging devices began to be standardised to a single micro-USB standard, and in recent years to USB-C in the concern for the environment. This significantly reduces the number of electronic devices produced each year and thus the amount of electro-waste.

Although many devices have the same charging port, it is worth paying attention to the parameters of the charger, which we plug to our phone or tablet. The charging voltage (V) and current strength (A) are very important parameters. The original mains chargers supplied with your device are designed to charge it efficiently and safely. With replacements you should pay particular attention to their power rating and refer to the manufacturer's description. Of course, most modern phones or laptops have a number of safety features that protect the equipment from overloading. However, a badly chosen power supply can cause irreparable damage to the battery or even the whole power supply system.

white Power Delivery charger plugged into a wall socket powers the laptop

Power Delivery – one charger for multiple devices

Thanks to modern Power Delivery technology, users can use one charger for several devices. Without worrying about damaging the battery. If your phone, tablet or laptop supports PD, the system will independently determine and adjust the parameters of charging, so that it takes place as quickly as possible. The power supply in such a case, even if it is able to provide 100 W of power, will adjust its parameters in such a way as not to exceed the maximum values for a device. This saves a lot of time and money. We no longer have to think about which charger to choose for a device. Even if our equipment is technologically older and not PD compliant, we can also use such a charger. In this case, the power supply usually takes the lowest possible power of about 5 watts. Many people do not even know what voltage the charger delivers to their phone. Power Delivery to completely eliminate this problem.  

table with the configuration of USB Power Delivery 3.0 voltages

Fast charging — are there other solutions?

Power Delivery is not the only technology available on the market that enables fast charging of electronic equipment. It is also worth taking a look at Qualcomm's commercial solution called Quick Charge. Both solutions are designed to enable fast and safe charging of the battery in the equipment of the user's choice.

QC technology, like PD is constantly being developed and improved. Quick Charge 5 is the latest Qualcomm standard. It allows you to charge your phone's battery in 5 minutes to about 50%, while a full battery load is expected to take place in just 15 minutes. What's interesting the QC 5-enabled devices continuously transmit data about their battery status. Thanks to this, a compatible charger, on the basis of analysis of this data, adjusts the power of charging, changing not only the current, but also the voltage at the output. In addition, the already older version of Quick Charge 4.0 has been retrofitted with systems to prevent overcharging and overheating of the battery, and has been adapted to USB-C and USB PD standards. You can read more about the types of QC standard in the article: Quick Charging for our times.

man holds a phone charged with Power Delivery PD technology

Programmable Power Supply — what is it?

Almost every smartphone manufacturer has its own fast charging system dedicated to their devices. Therefore, the need arose to standardize the operation of fast charging technology. In response, the PPS — Programmable Power Supply protocol was created. It is a charging scheme that can be used to charge various devices regardless of the brand. It introduced additional communication between the device and the charger during the charging process. It allows to correct the values of not only the charging current, but also the voltage. This further protects the battery from too much energy and overheating. This solution has been used by both the non-profit organisation USB IF in Power Delivery 3.0 and Qualcomm in QC 4.0 and above.

table with PPS Programmable Power Supply parameters

Convenience and speed

Power Delivery and QC are technologies designed for people who value time and convenience. If we need to charge our smartphone and we only have a quarter of an hour to go, Quick Charge 5 rushes to help. Thanks to Power Delivery we can replace a heap of power adapters with one universal one, which effectively and stably charges both a personal computer and a book reader. Choosing fast charging technology saves time, money and ensures that our equipment is safe and properly used.