updated 01:40 pm EDT, Tue August 9, 2011
USB 3.0 Power Delivery Spec to allow up to 100W
The USB 3.0 Promoter Group just revealed it is working on a new power delivery spec for USB cable bus power that will deliver much more power for charging or powering electronics devices. The standard will exist alongside the USB Battery Charging 1.2 specification and deliver up to as much as 100W of power. It will also continue to work with USB 2.0 and original USB 3.0 standards as well as current cables and connectors.
The source of power delivery will be switchable without the need to change the direction of the cable. Notebooks could be powered and use the USB connection to transfer files using a single USB cable, or rely solely on the USB for power.
The USB Power Delivery spec is planned to undergo industry review this fall. More information will be made available at the Intel Developer Forum in mid-September. A final spec will be sent to the USB Implementers Forum early in 2012 for publication, by which point companies can start working on products.
Power has become an increasing problem with USB as the normal 5W limit has become a limit for some. Tablets like the iPad often use closer to 10W of power and have to either use specific ports to charge or resort to AC power.