Category: Logo-based device certification program

New logo for 240w USB-C cables and chargers

Articles

Suitable USB-C cables will be able to handle 240w of DC power

The USB-C 240W Cables Get New Logos to Help You Find Them (gizmodo.com)

New USB-C logos make picking USB cables, chargers less confusing – PC World Australia (idg.com.au)

Previous coverage on HomeNetworking01.info

USB-C to allow 240 watts power for gaming laptops

From the horse’s mouth

USB Implementers Forum

USB-IF Announces New Certified USB Type-C® Cable Power Rating Logos (PDF file)

My Comments

USB logos courtesy of USB Implementers Forum

It will be easier to make sure that the cable or charger for that laptop or other device dependent on the new USB-C PowerDelivery Extended Power Range specification is up to scratch before you buy. This specification puts up 240 watts of power to the endpoint device and is fit for powering gaming or creator laptops and mobile workstations but could also be used to power 4K UHD monitors for example.

Here, the USB Implementers Forum have released a new packaging logo that identifies that the cable or charger is compliant with this standard extension. It is in addition to a similar logo that is used to show that a cable is fit to transfer data at 40Gbps.

This may make it easier for us to identify whether the cable or charger we want to buy is fit for purpose with that USB-C-powered gaming laptop. But questions are being raised about the existing stock of cables existing in various wholesale and retail inventories that are technically compliant but don’t have the logo.

As well, there are questions about whether a cable that can technically move 40Gbps of data has to be also compatibility with the Extended Power Range update to the USB PD standard. This can also lead to us being concerned about whether that cable can either work as a high-bandwidth data cable or as a high-power charging / power cable especially for those applications where data bandwidth and power capacity do matter.

For example it could be about an uplink cable that is to connect a powered USB4 dock that supports the new USB-C Power Delivery specification extension to that gaming laptop or powerful NUC-type desktop computer. Or to look for latest-spec cables that answer both of these new needs rather than opting for cheaper cables that only answer one of the requirements.

At least these logos appearing on those USB-C cable blister-packs or on online product descriptions for USB-C cables can help us to be sure that these cables are fit-for-purpose for the latest USB4 or USB PowerDelivery Extended Power Range specifications.

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European Union’s data security actions come closer

Article

Map of Europe By User:mjchael by using preliminary work of maix¿? [CC-BY-SA-2.5 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5)], via Wikimedia Commons

The European Union will make steps towards a secure-by-design approach for hardware, software and services

EU Cybersecurity Act Agreed – “Traffic Light” Labelling Creeps Closer | Computer Business Review

Smarthome: EU führt Sicherheitszertifikate für vernetzte Geräte ein | Computer Bild (German Language / Deutschen Sprache)

From the horse’s mouth

European Commission

EU negotiators agree on strengthening Europe’s cybersecurity (Press Release)

My Comments

After the GDPR effort for data protection and end-user privacy with our online life, the European Union want to take further action regarding data security. But this time it is about achieving a “secure by design” approach for connected devices, software and online services.

This is driven by the recent Wannacry and NotPetya cyberattacks and is being achieved through the Cybersecurity Act which is being passed through the European Parliament. It follows after the German Federal Government’s effort to specify a design standard for routers that we use as the network-Internet “edge” for our home networks.

There will be a wider remit for EU Agency for Cybersecurity (ENSA) concerning cybersecurity issues that affect the European Union. But the key issue here is to have a European-Union-based framework for cybersecurity certification, which will affect online services and consumer devices with this certification valid through the EU. It is an internal-market legislation that affects the security of connected products including the Internet Of Things, as well as critical infrastructure and online services.

The certification framework will be about having the products being “secure-by-design” which is an analogy to a similar concept in building and urban design where there is a goal to harden a development or neighbourhood against crime as part of the design process. In the IT case, this involves using various logic processes and cyberdefences to make it harder to penetrate computer networks, endpoints and data.

It will also be about making it easier for people and businesses to choose equipment and services that are secure. The computer press were making an analogy to the “traffic-light” coding on food and drink packaging to encourage customers to choose healthier options.

-VP Andrus Ansip (Digital Single Market) – “In the digital environment, people as well as companies need to feel secure; it is the only way for them to take full advantage of Europe’s digital economy. Trust and security are fundamental for our Digital Single Market to work properly. This evening’s agreement on comprehensive certification for cybersecurity products and a stronger EU Cybersecurity Agency is another step on the path to its completion.”

What the European Union are doing could have implications beyond the European Economic Area. Here, the push for a “secure-by-design” approach could make things easier for people and organisations in and beyond that area to choose IT hardware, software and services satisfying these expectations thanks to reference standards or customer-facing indications that show compliance.

It will also raise the game towards higher data-security standards from hardware, software and services providers especially in the Internet-of-Things and network-infrastructure-device product classes.

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A logo-driven certification program arrives for USB-C chargers

Article

USB-IF announces compliance for USB Type-C devices | Android Authority

From the horse’s mouth

USB Implementers Forum

Press Release (PDF) Certified USB Charger Logo and Compliance Program Infographic courtesy of USB Implementers Forum

My Comments

Previously, the USB standard has become effectively a “DC power supply” standard for smartphones and tablets. This has avoided the need to end up with a desk drawer full of power supplies and battery chargers with the associated question of which one works with which device. It has also led to various points of innovation like USB external battery packs and multiple-outlet USB “charging bars”. Similarly, gadgets like lights, fans and cup warmers have also appeared that can be powered from a computer’s USB port or a USB charger.

There was also the environmental view that we will see less chargers destined to landfill when devices are finally retired or less need to supply chargers with mobile phones. But a common reality is that most of these USB chargers end up being kept near or plugged into power outlets around the house more as a way of allowing “convenience charging” for our gadgets.

But the problem has surface where particular USB chargers don’t do the job properly when charging particular devices, especially high-end smartphones or tablets. Here, you need to be sure that you use something like a 2.1A charger for these devices and have them connected using a cable known to work.

The new USB Type-C standard is bring this concept as a low-profile connection for newer smartphones along with using the USB Power Delivery standard to extend this convenience to larger tablets and laptops. But there have been situations where substandard USB Type-C leads and chargers have been appearing on the market placing our new gadgets at risk of damage due to them being improperly powered.

Now the USB Implementers Forum have brought forward a certification program for USB Type-C chargers and leads with this program augmented by a logo. What will happen is that a charger or external battery pack will have to show this logo and state its power capacity in watts so you can be sure it will charge your Ultrabook or 2-in-1 as well as your smartphone.

What should be required is that the logo and the power output is stamped on the charger body itself and also a colour code is standardised for the power output. Having such a colour code could be useful when recognising which charger from a bunch of chargers could handle your gadget or which one is the right one to buy when you look at that display rack.

At least something is being done to make it easier to be sure we end up with the right USB Type-C power-supply device for that 2-in-1 Ultrabook or smartphone without the risk of the computer not charging or being damaged.

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